Public Input Sought in Scoping for Alabama Recreational Use Recreation Planning
The Alabama Trustee Implementation Group is preparing a restoration plan and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). It will evaluate restoration projects intended to compensate the public for lost recreational use opportunities in Alabama caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. These projects will be proposed and evaluated pursuant to the Oil Pollution Act (OPA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). We expect to take a phased approach to the restoration of recreational losses in Alabama with the initial planning occurring during 2016-2017.
This restoration planning activity is occurring, in part, in accordance with the February 16, 2016, decision in Gulf Restoration Network v. Jewell, Case 1:15-cv-00191-CB-C (S.D. Ala.). In that decision, the court prohibited the use of $58.5 million in early restoration funds until additional analysis was completed under NEPA and OPA. The restoration plan / EIS fulfills the federal and state natural resources trustees’ responsibilities under this court order. It will also look more broadly at the potential to provide restoration for lost recreational use within Alabama, and thus may develop restoration projects to compensate for some or all of the remaining funds allocated for Alabama’s recreational use injury (approximately $83.5 million).
This restoration planning activity is proceeding in accordance with the Trustees’ programmatic restoration plan. Information on the lost recreational use restoration type, as well as the OPA criteria against which project ideas are being evaluated, can be found in the Trustees' programmatic restoration plan and in the plan overview.
We would like to receive your project ideas addressing lost recreational use in Alabama. We encourage you to submit restoration project ideas to the Trustees or the state of Alabama. If you have submitted project ideas in the past, we will consider those projects along with additional ideas submitted at this time.
We are also seeking public involvement in the scoping process and development of the recreational use restoration plan and EIS. The Notice of Intent explains the scoping process we will use to gather input from the public. In addition to restoration project ideas, we invite public comments regarding the scope, content, and any significant issues we should consider.
For more information on the scoping for Alabama recreational use planning, read the Frequently Asked Questions.
Comments can be submitted online or mailed to:
NOAA Gulf of Mexico Disaster Response Center
attn: Alabama Recreational Use Restoration Plan
7344 Zeigler Blvd; Mobile, AL 36608
Comments are due by August 5, 2016.
Posted July 7, 2016.