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Local RESTORE Act Committee
Local RESTORE Act Committee

Click to view the Draft Walton County RESTORE Multi-Year Implementation Plan

About the Local RESTORE Act Committee

A Local RESTORE Act Committee has been established by Walton County to comply with federal law. In July 2012 the U.S. Congress passed the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf States Act (RESTORE Act). The act is intended to help the states on the Gulf of Mexico recover and grow stronger after the tragic Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. Penalties assessed against the parties responsible for the spill will be a major portion of the funds needed for recovery and growth. The bulk of these penalty funds are divided into three portions called “Pots” designated to go to the following:

(1) directly to affected counties
(2) to a state level consortium
(3) to a regionally organized council

Walton County adopted Resolution 2013-25 on May 28, 2013 to provide guidance for its efforts and to establish a Local RESTORE Act Committee to assure public input to the process as required by the RESTORE Act. The committee of 11 unpaid volunteers from various constituencies in the county was appointed by the Board of County Commissioners. It is tasked to solicit, evaluate and recommend projects and programs to be funded directly to the county (Pot #1). The Committee will develop an application format and process to implement guidance in the Act for Pot #1 funding.

The Committee will follow guidance from the RESTORE Act as well as specific evaluation criteria adopted by the Board of County Commissioners on May 14, 2013. Both federal guidance and the Walton County RESTORE Act Comprehensive Plan share these goals:

1. Restore, Protect and Conserve Habitat
2. Restore Water Quality
3. Replenish and Protect Living Coastal and Marine Resources
4. Enhance Community Resilience
5. Restore and Revitalize the County’s Economy

Meetings are scheduled as required. All meetings are publicly noticed and the public is encouraged to participate.

The Committee is made up of the following members representing the following categories:

Environmental – Patricia O'Brien-Murphy
Coastal Restoration/Mgmt – George Abert
Business North End of County – Elizabeth Brannon
Business South End of County– John Heiser
Tourism Industry – Tim Pauls
Fishing Industry – Andrew Jackson
Health/Human Services – Crystal Steele
Economic Development – Brad Balfanz
Community Leader – Sara Bowers
Educator – Linda Presnell
Arts/Culture – Vacancy

Awarded Funding to Date
Walton County Direct Component Approved Funding List - January 2016

Local RESTORE Act Committee Agendas and Minutes
Local RESTORE Act Committee Documents

Comprehensive Plan:
Comprehensive Plan to Restore Walton County's Ecosystems and Economy

Useful Links:
RESTORE Act Information from the Florida Association of Counties
Florida Department of Environmental Protection Deepwater Horizon 
Gulf Coast Ecosystem Recovery Council (GCERC) 
US Department of Interior Gulf Restoration

US Environmental Protection Agency BP Oil Spill


Please E-Mail questions and/or comments.

Issues will be addressed at the next regularly scheduled committee meeting.