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Water-Related News

Sarasota County joins Gulf Consortium in support of RESTORE Act

SARASOTA – On Oct. 10th, Sarasota County approved an Interlocal Agreement to join members of the Gulf Consortium in developing a state economic and environmental restoration plan.

Commissioner Nora Patterson and Laird Wreford were appointed to represent Sarasota County as members of the Gulf Consortium. They will work closely with 22 other Florida county representatives to develop a plan to distribute state funds that will be received by Florida from the BP oil spill settlement. There will be an additional distribution to Sarasota County from local funds from the BP spill settlement.

“The funds we receive from the RESTORE Act could help complete some critically needed environmental and economic development projects sooner. These types of projects help support tourism as well as our natural ecosystem,” said Laird Wreford, Coastal Resources Manager.

The federal RESTORE Act stands for the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunity and Revived Economies Act for the Gulf states and aims to direct a significant share of the fines from the BP oil spill to the affected areas. Without the act, all the money would have gone to the general federal treasury.

Sarasota County is among 23 counties impacted from the oil spill. The county is expected to receive $15-$20 million in local funds and could receive a significant amount of additional state funding for county projects and programs.