The Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council (AGCRC)
was created with the passage of the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012 (
RESTORE Act and Summary of RESTORE Act). This legislation was passed by Congress to steer a percentage of the civil penalties levied against the responsible parties of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident directly to the Gulf Coast states
to assist with recovery efforts. With the third phase of the trial beginning in late January 2015, the amount of penalties that may be available to the State of Alabama and the timing of their availability remains uncertain.
The law specifically states that Alabama’s 10-member council will be chaired by Alabama’s Governor and co-chaired by the Director of the Alabama State Port Authority. Other members will be the chairman of the
Baldwin County Commission, the President of the Mobile County Commission, the mayors of Bayou La Batre, Dauphin Island, Fairhope, Gulf Shores, Mobile, and Orange Beach. The Act further stipulates that qualifying projects must
reflect at least one of the following criteria:
- Restoration and protection of the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, and coastal wetlands of the Gulf Coast region.
- Mitigation of damage to fish, wildlife, and natural resources.
- Implementation of a federally approved marine, coastal, or comprehensive conservation management plan, including fisheries monitoring.
- Workforce development and job creation.
- Improvements to or on state parks located in coastal areas affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
- Infrastructure projects benefitting the economy or ecological resources, including port infrastructure.
- Coastal flood protection and related infrastructure.
- Planning assistance.
- Administrative costs (limited to not more than 3% of a state's allotment).
- Promotion of tourism in the Gulf Coast Region, including recreational fishing.
- Promotion of the consumption of seafood harvested from the Gulf Coast Region.
In an effort to “hit the ground running” once funds are available for expenditure, the Council has held several day-long workshops
as well as eight public meetings to report on their activities. On December 17, 2012, the Council adopted their By-laws (pdf) (amended December 8, 2014), and on May 10, 2013,
they passed a resolution adopting a Strategy Map and tapped the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) to serve
as the Administrator. The Memorandum of Understanding with ADCNR was subsequently adopted by the Council during the August 15, 2013 meeting (amended December 8, 2014).
The Council released their draft Project Submission Form Guide for public comment on October 8, 2013, and the
Project Submission portal went live on the Alabama Coastal Restoration website in late March, 2014. The U.S. Department of Treasury issued the
RESTORE Act Interim Final Rule on August 13, 2014, which allows the Council to move forward in determining a project selection process. The regulations became effective on October 14, 2014.
On December 17, 2014, the Council released their Draft Project Selection Process Framework for First Round
Multiyear Implementation Plan (MIP) Development for a 30-day comment period. On the same day, they released their Center of Excellence Draft Solicitation for
Proposals and Draft Competitive Process for Selection for a 45-day public comment period.
To learn more about the various recovery efforts ongoing with the State of Alabama, visit: www.AlabamaCoastalRestoration.org