Public input sought for RESTORE Act projects
On July 6, 2012, the President signed into law the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States (RESTORE) Act as a result of the of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The Act established the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund in the U.S. Treasury Department. Penalties paid in connection with the oil spill are available for programs, projects and activities that meet specific criteria to restore and protect the environment and economy of the Gulf Coast region.
Projects meeting RESTORE Act criteria along with a Multi-Year Implementation Plan (MYIP) were approved by the Hernando County Board of County Commissioners at a public meeting and accepted by the Treasury on August 6, 2015. This plan has since been updated and amendment one is available at www.HernandoCounty.us/restoreact for public review and comment. The deadline for the 45-day public input period is Monday, March 11, 2019. The MYIP plan will then be sent to the Treasury Department for approval.
Original approved projects:
- Bayou Drive Repair and Restoration: $350,000
RESTORE Funding Request: $175,000
County Match: $175,000
This two-mile coastal roadway project involves repairing the road and restoring adjacent coastal marsh. The damaged roadway and parking areas will be repaired to current safety standards and upgraded to allow better access to recreational opportunities. Accumulated roadway sediments and non-native vegetation will be removed from the marsh and native plants will be installed to improve fish and wildlife habitat.
- Hernando Beach Shallow Water Reef Project: $105,000
RESTORE Funding Request: $94,500
County Match: $10,500
This shallow reef project involves creating three artificial reefs less than seven miles west of the Hernando Beach Channel. Construction of these in-shore reefs will provide protection for dwindling fish species so they have a habitat to live and spawn. These areas will help provide
- Linda Pederson Park Improvements: $300,000
RESTORE Funding Request: 300,000
This park improvement project includes the installation of a canoe and kayak launch area, which will be integrated into an improved seawall and boardwalk. The improved amenity will prevent sediment runoff and provide direct public access to the spring run and its tributaries for non-motorized boats.
Changes in amendment one:
- Hernando Beach Shallow Water Reef Project was withdrawn from the MYIP because it has already been completed with local funding.
- Linda Pederson Park Improvements Project is revised to request an additional $111,000 due to the increase in project costs for the replacement of a retaining wall, boardwalk and attached swim platform. The higher cost estimate was based on an updated engineer’s cost estimate with the total budget increasing from $300,000 to $411,000. Additionally, the canoe/kayak launch component of the project has been eliminated from the project since it has already been funded and installed with local funds.