Engagement and Coordination

To be successful, the NOAA RESTORE Science Program must harness the expertise of the research community working in the Gulf of Mexico and link it to the science needs of the region’s resource management community. An engagement process that connects researchers, resource managers, and resource users and allows their collective knowledge to inform the direction of the Program is required. NOAA, working with our U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service partner, have been conducting such a process from the beginning. NOAA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have already held over 200 meetings with stakeholders including representatives from the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission, Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, universities, federal and state agencies, and non-governmental organizations. The Program has also engaged with stakeholders at research and resource management conferences and workshops and through virtual engagement sessions on-line. The input captured through this engagement shaped the Program’s science plan. The Program will continue to engage with researchers and resource managers as it now begins to address the long-term priorities captured in the science plan.

The NOAA RESTORE Science Program is seeking to complement the research and monitoring activities supported by the other components of the RESTORE Act including the Centers of Excellence, the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, and Gulf States. In addition, the Program is engaging with the other recently created programs focused on increasing our understanding of the Gulf of Mexico and restoring it such as the Gulf Research Program at the National Academy of Science, the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund. The Program is also actively engaging and coordinating with governmental and non-governmental research programs active in the region prior to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.


Figure Detailed Information

1603 (1) State Allocation & Expenditures

  • 35% of Trust Fund
  • Equal shares to each Gulf State
  • Program executed by State Governors
  • Broad state discretion in use of funds
  • Restoration of coastal counties of Gulf States
  • Selection of projects based on meaningful public input
  • Projects based on best available science

1603 (2) Council Establishment & Allocation

  • 30% of Trust Fund
  • Administered by the Gulf Coast Restoration Council
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive plan
  • Coordinate with the Gulf Coast Restoration Task Force
  • Projects, using best available science, to restore and protect the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, coastal wetlands, and economy of the Gulf Coast

1603 (3) Oil Spill Restoration Impact Allocation

  • 30% of Trust Fund
  • Funds available to Gulf States using an impact-based formula
  • Projects nominated by Gulf States
  • Projects and activities consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and approved by the Council (1603 (2))
  • Dedicated to projects and activities that will improve the ecosystems or economy of the Gulf Coast region

1604 Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Science, Observation, Monitoring, and Technology Program

  • 2 % of Trust Fund
  • Administered by NOAA
  • Focused on Gulf of Mexico ecosystem
  • Primarily competitively awarded grants and/or cooperative agreements
  • Research, observation, and monitoring to support the long-term sustainability of the ecosystem, fish stocks, fish habitat, and the recreational, commercial, and charter fishing industry in the Gulf of Mexico.

1605 Centers of Excellence Research Grants

  • 2 % of the Trust Fund
  • Equal share to each Gulf State
  • Administered by State Governors
  • Competitive research grants to establish Centers of Excellence
  • Research exclusively in Gulf Coast region