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January 13th, 2012 | Author:

The National Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Phase I Early Restoration plan has been published as a draft and includes eight projects totaling $57 Million to be initially implemented in the 5 states bordering the Gulf Of Mexico. The Early Restoration program will include $1 Billion and is the selected process by which funding for BP Oil Spill damages may begin in advance of the multi year total damage assessment process. The NRDA is one of the government led BP Oil Spill recovery efforts and is associated with the requirement of BP making the public whole from the environmental damages, including loss of natural resources, damage to natural resources and loss of use/enjoyment of the resources.

Two public meetings (Fort Walton Beach and Pensacola) to present and hear comments on the plan have been held and 10 more are scheduled throughout the public comment period that ends February 14th.

Of the eight projects in Phase I draft of the early restoration plan document, two are Florida projects – both in Escambia county. These initial Florida projects total $5 Million with $4.4 Million going for Boat Ramp Enhancement and Construction and the balance funding 2o acres of Dune Restoration along Pensacola beach.

Of the $1 Billion to be paid by BP for early restoration projects, $100 Million will go to each of the five states to manage/implement independently, and $500 million will be for related projects to be managed through the Federal Government’s Department of Interior(DOI) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The $57 Million of Phase I projects included in the draft plan are the initial set of projects being considered with the balance to follow through the NRDA project selection process.

You may view the plan document at http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Final-ERP-121311-print-version-update.pdf

Comments can be submitted verbally or in writing at any of the public comment meetings, via mail at US Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O> Box 2099, Fairhope, AL 336533 or via the web at one of the following addresses.


November 08th, 2009 | Author:

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began accepting public comments  on October 19th for  the Gulf Side Snorkeling and Diving Reef Permit applications made by the Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners.  The Permit reference for it is SAJ-2009-3187 (IP-SWA).  Comments will be received regarding this permit for 21 days (through November 9th).

The Corps also began accepting public comments on October 29th for the east and west Sound Side Reef Permit applications made by the Commissioners.   The Permit reference number for this permit is SAJ-2009-3188 (IP-SWA).  Comments will be received regarding this permit for 21 days also (through November 19th).

We encourage the public to comment positively on the need for both of these permits to be approved.   Let the Federal Government know that the reefs will have an immediate, large and lasting positive impact on the panhandle area economy, environment, and education  on both permit applications.  Economically the reefs will increase annual economic output in Santa Rosa County alone by $1.17 Million.  The estimated oyster growth on the proposed sound side reefs will create a water filtration capacity of almost 2 Million gallons of water per day and both the sound and gulf side reefs will provide essential marine habitat for juvenile fish species and increase marine biodiversity.  Both reefs will be a centerpiece amenity for the Navarre Beach Marine Sanctuary and all other area educational institutions and will facilitate learning and research programs from grade school through post graduate studies.

Please reference the permit number(s) when sending your comments.  You can send comments in writing by regular mail or email to Mr. Steve Andrews Jr. of the Army Corps.

Email comments can be sent to stephen.w.andrews@usace.army.mil

The physical address for letters is:

Dept of the Army – Jacksonville District Corps of Engineers

Pensacola Regional Office

41 North Jefferson St. Suite 111

Pensacola, FL 32502