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Water-Related News

Robinson Preserve wetlands get boost from Deepwater Horizon funds

MANATEE – Converting old abandoned farmland into functioning wetlands takes a lot of work and a lot of dough. But one of the biggest oil spill disasters is helping pay for it.

The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council on Wednesday (Jan. 24th) approved nearly $1.8 million to fund the restoration of 118 acres of coastal habitat in Robinson Preserve’s expansion area. The funds were made available through one of three pots of money held by the Restore Act, which was established in 2012 to help fund projects related to the aftermath of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion that killed 11 and subsequently spilled 210 million gallons of oil in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Robinson Preserve Wetlands Restoration project is one of three projects funded in the Tampa Bay area and part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Connecting Coastal Waters Initiative. Others include a restoration project in East McKay Bay and through the Tampa Bay National Estuary Program.

Manatee County is slated to receive about $12.4 million over a 15-year period. This recently approved funding is in addition to what the county will receive.

At the preserve, funds will be used to create upland and estuarine habitats with sea-level rise in mind, as well as restore the hydrology of the area.