GovTrack’s Bill Summary
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Library of Congress Summary
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2011 - Establishes in the Treasury the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund to be available for expenditure for programs and projects to restore, protect, and make sustainable use of the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine habitats, coastal wetlands, and the economy of the Gulf Coast states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. Requires the Secretary to deposit in the Fund 80% of all administrative, civil, and criminal penalties paid after this Act's enactment in connection with the explosion on, and sinking of, the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon pursuant to a court order, negotiated settlement, or other instrument in accordance with the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (commonly known as the Clean Water Act). Amends the Clean Water Act to require 35% of amounts made available from the Fund in any fiscal year to be disbursed to the Gulf Coast states in equal shares.
Authorizes such amounts to be used for:
(1) coastal protection projects;
(2) mitigation of damage to, and restoration of, fish, wildlife, or natural resources;
(3) implementation of a federally approved marine, coastal, or comprehensive conservation management plan, including fisheries monitoring; and
(4) programs to promote tourism and the consumption of Gulf Coast seafood.
Authorizes a governor of a Gulf Coast state, in awarding contracts for such a project or program, to give a preference to individuals and companies that reside in, are headquartered in, or are principally engaged in business in, a Gulf Coast state.
Establishes the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council to:
(1) publish a Comprehensive Plan for, and to undertake, projects and programs to restore and protect the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine habitats, and coastal wetland of the Gulf Coast ecosystem;
(2) update such Plan every five years;
(3) coordinate the development of consistent policies, strategies, plans, and activities addressing the restoration and protection of the Gulf Coast ecosystem and associated research; and
(4) prepare an integrated financial plan and recommendations for coordinated budget requests for the amounts proposed to be expended by the federal agencies represented on the Council for projects and programs in the Gulf Coast states.
Requires 60% of the total amount made available from the Fund to be disbursed to the Council to carry out the Plan. Establishes within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Science, Monitoring, and Technology Program, under which the NOAA Administrator shall provide grants to establish and operate a center of excellence in each of the Gulf Coast states.
Requires each center to focus its curriculum on science, technology, and monitoring in at least one of the following:
(1) coastal wetland restoration and protection;
(2) coastal and marine fisheries and wildlife ecosystem research, monitoring, mapping, and recovery;
(3) offshore energy development;
(4) sustainable growth, economic, and commercial development; and
(5) port, harbor, and waterway construction and maintenance.
Allocates 5% of Fund amounts to such Program.
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