The Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012—better known as the “RESTORE Act”—was enacted on July 6, 2012.

The RESTORE Act creates a Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund (RTF), which receives 80% of any Clean Water Act (CWA) civil and administrative penalties paid by BP and other companies responsible for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In total, more than $5.3 billion will flow into the RTF.

There are five different pots of money, each with their own regulations and decision-making structures. The first three are commonly called pots or buckets one, two and three. Funding flows through the RESTORE Act via three pots – Pot 1 evenly distributed 35 percent of RESTORE funding directly to the Gulf states. Pot 2 allocates 30 percent of funding to ecosystem restoration projects selected by the RESTORE Council – each of the five may compete for this money. Pot 3 distributes 30 percent of funding to the Gulf states based on an oil spill impact allocation formula. The remaining 5 percent is divided equally between NOAA to establish the Gulf Coast Ecosystem, Restoration, Science, Observation, Monitoring, and Technology program and to establish Centers of Excellence for research in a variety of environmental and engineering fields related to the Gulf Coast. 

Over 2 billion dollars has been committed in the Gulf States across all pots so far, but there are policy limits to how much money can be expended in a given year. 

Louisiana has committed to using all of its Pot 1 and Pot 3 money on the Coastal Master Plan. Via Pot 2, Louisiana has received an additional $52.2 million to fund coastal restoration projects included in the RESTORE Council’s Funded Priorities List, including marsh creation, hydrologic restoration, and beach nourishment projects. 

Louisiana funded projects

Direct Component (Pot 1*) 35%

Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Pot 2) 30% + 50%
of the interest

Spill Impact Component (Pot 3*) 30%

Restoration Science Program (Pot 4) 2.5% + 25% of the interest

Center of Excellence (Pot 5) 2.5% + 25% of the interest

*Pots 1 and 3 – The State of Louisiana has elected to combine these two plans into a single document – the “RESTORE Plan” – which is guided by the state’s Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast. Approved in June 2018 for $20 million.

Learn more here. You can sign up for regular updates from the RESTORE Council here.

Points of Contact