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September Meeting Reports
Posted on Sep 16th, 2013

These reports are a way to let the public know what FOR’s been up to. It’s also a way that someone can determine if there is any way they’d like to get involved in things. Please contact FOR if you are interested. (Select Volunteer on the "Contact Us" drop down list.)
  • Sep 26, UPDATE on the Sep 10 meeting (below)
Karla Dunlap, Research Assistant, Texas Sea Grant College Program reports in a 26Sep13 email sent to the FOR Mouth Committee that the San Bernard River mouth project is now listed on the NOAA Restoration Center and Sea Grant Restoration list of hydrological restoration projects throughout the Gulf of Mexico that benefit coastal and marine fisheries and have other positive impacts. These are projects listed for potential funding.
  • Sep 10, RESTORE Act Workshop following Commissioner’s Court, Angleton
​The RESTORE Act established a Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council that is responsible for distribution of federal civil penalties resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill ligation. In five coastal states, 80 percent of the penalties paid goes for ecosystem restoration, economic recovery, and tourism promotion. 
 
Representing FOR at the workshop was FOR VP Suzanne Goodson and  FOR Directors Ana Pogue and Tom Folger. Presenters were Juan Moya, PHD Atkins Group; Ken Jones, VP NA Atkins Group; and Naomy Sanchez Atkins Group. Read the Gulf of Mexico Hydrological Restoration Criteria for Identifying and Prioritizing Projects  report. This is a hydrological restoration project partnership between NOAA and Sea Grant.
 
The following points were covered at the workshop:
  • $20B or more is the potential funding amount
  • Emphasis was placed on the fact that there will be a competitive process followed regarding applications for funding.
    • Texas will be competing with the other States, Brazoria County will be competing with other Counties
    • The focus will be on the upper Texas Gulf Coast Counties.
  • Brazoria County is in a very good position for request consideration based on it's location and potential economic benefit:
    • Drainage System Improvements
    • Restore and enhance Natural Resources and Shorelines
    • Positive impact on commerce
  • Evaluation Criteria includes:
    • Greatest Contribution to restoring and protecting natural resources
    • Large scale projects and programs
  • Steps for success:
    • Think big
    • Develop public participation
    • Long term benefit (competitive evaluation)
    • Utilize best available science as justification
    • Multiple projects can be presented as one application
  • Need to identify resources capable of managing the application process
    • GLO is probably the best source for these resources
  • Commissioner Payne stated that the entire Commission is in agreement that opening the mouth of the San Bernard is the top priority
  • Atkins Group stated that Texas is lagging behind the other States...initiative for Texas is pending action by the Governor's office
    • Pressure needs to be applied to gain momentum
–Minutes by Tom Folger, FOR Director
 
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