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State to receive $79 million in RESTORE funding

Wednesday, April 28, 2021 - Approval of “Bucket 2” funds announced today
ContactBrian McGovern
After Hrs512-239-5000

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality announced today that an additional $79 million is being made available as part of the RESTORE Act, the law created to respond to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout and oil spill.

The amount, which accounts for 26% of the $302 million in grant funds approved today by the RESTORE Council, is one of five “buckets” of funds allocated under the Act.

Previously, $88 million was made available to Texas under Bucket 1, to fund 15 projects directly affecting its coastal counties.

Projects funded under Bucket 2 implement the RESTORE Council’s Comprehensive Plan. These funds can be used for ecosystem restoration and protection in the Gulf Coast region.

“In the more than ten years since the Deepwater Horizon spill, tens of millions of dollars have been allocated and spent to improve the coastal areas,” said TCEQ Executive Director Toby Baker, who also serves as Governor Greg Abbott's appointee to the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council. “We’re excited to announce this latest round of funding and look forward to seeing continued restoration and improvements to the Gulf Coast.”

On behalf of Governor Abbott, TCEQ is expected to use the grant funds to finance projects within four approved Texas programs:

  • The Texas Land Acquisition Program for Coastal Conservation will use $24.3 million to secure high-quality coastal zone properties in Texas such as urban green corridors, properties near rivers, as well as prairie and wooded wetlands.
  • The Shoreline Protection Through Living Shorelines Program will use $12.25 million to support the construction of large-scale living shorelines that will enhance the resiliency of coastal Texas through stabilization. This includes the creation of habitats for fish and oysters, removal of excess nutrients and sediments, protection of seagrass, and water quality improvements.
  • The Texas Coastal Water Quality Program is allocated $22.5 million to restore water quality and freshwater inflows on the Texas coast by the implementation of best management practices, repair and enhancement of drainage channels and outfalls, and construction of living shoreline features to reduce erosion.
  • The Chenier Plain Ecosystem Restoration Program at $20 million intends to restore and conserve high-quality coastal habitats within the Cheniere Plain complex of Texas.

Specific projects receiving grant funds will be selected at a later date. More information is available on the Texas RESTORE website.