The Direct Component, administered by Department of the Treasury, makes available 35 percent of all administrative and civil penalties deposited into the Trust Fund to 4 Gulf Coast states, 23 Florida counties, and 20 Louisiana parishes. Grant recipients under the Direct Component must comply with the RESTORE Act, Treasury’s RESTORE Act final rule, 31 C.F.R. Part 34, the requirements of 2 C.F.R. Part 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, the requirements included in the grant agreement documents, such as, the RESTORE Act Financial Assistance Standard Terms and Conditions and Program-Specific Terms and Conditions and as applicable, special award conditions, and all other relevant program requirements, applicable executive orders, federal statutes, and regulations.
Eligible Activities under the Direct Component
Activities, programs, and projects that are eligible for grants awarded under the Direct Component include:
- Restoration and protection of the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, and coastal wetlands of the Gulf Coast Region;
- Mitigation of damage to fish, wildlife and natural resources;
- Implementation of a Federally-approved marine, coastal, or comprehensive conservation management plan, including fisheries monitoring;
- Workforce development and job creation;
- Improvements to or on state parks located in coastal areas affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill;
- Infrastructure projects benefitting the economy or ecological resources, including port infrastructure;
- Coastal flood protection and related infrastructure;
- Planning assistance;
- Promotion of tourism in the Gulf Coast Region, including promotion of recreational fishing;
- Promotion of the consumption of seafood harvested from the Gulf Coast Region; and
- Administrative costs.
Eligible Applicants under the Direct Component
The RESTORE Act and Treasury’s implementing regulations at 31 C.F.R. § 34.302 specifies which entities are eligible to receive grants under the Direct Component.
Treasury's regulations list the Direct Component eligible states, counties, and parishes that may apply as follows:
- In Alabama, the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council or such administrative agent as it may designate;
- In Florida, the Florida counties of Bay, Charlotte, Citrus, Collier, Dixie, Escambia, Franklin, Gulf, Hernando, Hillsborough, Jefferson, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Monroe, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Pasco, Pinellas, Sarasota, Taylor, Wakulla, and Walton;
- In Louisiana, the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Board of Louisiana through the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana;
- In Louisiana, the Louisiana parishes of Ascension, Assumption, Calcasieu, Cameron, Iberia, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, and Vermilion;
- In Mississippi, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality; and
- In Texas, the Office of the Governor or an appointee of the Office of the Governor.
Information about Direct Component awards is available on this RESTORE Act website.
Multiyear Implementation Plan under the Direct Component
The RESTORE Act and the Treasury’s implementing regulations direct the eligible state, county, and parish applicants to prepare and submit a multiyear implementation plan to Treasury for acceptance before the entity can receive a Direct Component activity grant. The plan should describe each activity for which the entity seeks funding under the Direct Component and as part of preparing its multiyear plan, the entity should make its plan available for public review and comment for a minimum of 45 days to obtain broad-based participation from individuals, businesses, Indian tribes, and non-profit organizations before the plan is submitted to Treasury for acceptance. The state, county, or parish applicants may periodically update their plans by following the same steps, which are outlined in 31 C.F.R. § 34.303(b). Treasury-approved multiyear implementation plans and amended plans are posted to this RESTORE Act website.
Gulf Coast Region Definition under the RESTORE Act
Under the RESTORE Act and Treasury’s implementing regulations, certain eligible activities must be carried out in the Gulf Coast Region to be eligible for funding under the Direct Component. The Gulf Coast Region means:
- In the Gulf Coast States, the coastal zones defined under section 304 of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 that border the Gulf of Mexico;
- Land within the coastal zones described in paragraph (1) of this definition that is held in trust by, or the use of which is by law subject solely to the discretion of, the Federal Government or officers or agents of the Federal Government;
- Any adjacent land, water, and watersheds, that are within 25 miles of the coastal zone described in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this definition; and
- All Federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico.
Treasury’s regulations explain further that Direct Component activities are carried out in the Gulf Coast Region when, in the reasonable judgment of the eligible entity applying to Treasury for a grant, each severable part of the activity is primarily designed to restore or protect that geographic area. The state, county, or parish must demonstrate that the activity will be carried out in the Gulf Coast Region when they apply for a grant.
Best Available Science under the RESTORE Act
Direct Component activities designed to protect or restore natural resources must be based on best available science. Best available science means science that maximizes the quality, objectivity, and integrity of information, including statistical information; uses peer-reviewed and publicly available data; and clearly documents and communicates risks and uncertainties in the scientific basis for such projects. A state, county, or parish applicant must look at the nature of the activity, rather than the title of the eligible activity, when deciding whether this requirement applies. They must explain in their application how the activity is based on the "best available science" and cite peer-reviewed, objective, methodologically sound literature sources that support their determination.