Florida RESTORE Act Centers of Excellence Program (FLRACEP) priority areas include coastal fisheries, wildlife, and ecosystem research/monitoring in the Gulf Coast Region; and comprehensive observation, monitoring, and mapping of the Gulf of Mexico. These priorities were selected from among the eligible RESTORE Act disciplines after a public scoping/public input process [see FLRACEP Program Rules and Policies_2016 (PDF) for additional detail].
A seven-member Program Management Team (PMT) made up of senior-level advisors appointed by the FIO Director, based on their knowledge of FL regional science, technology and management needs. PMT members are not eligible to submit or participate on FLRACEP grant or contract proposals.
Science Review Panels (SRPs) convene as an ad hoc team of science and technology experts not involved in any FLRACEP proposals, from in and outside Florida and are responsible for technical review of grant proposals.
Program personnel who oversee the day to day program management and implementation of the Centers of Excellence, including by not limited to drafting specific RFP language, coordinating external science review, convening the PMT to review and approve new awards and awardees, progress reporting to the Department of Treasury, and coordinating with other science and restoration entities in the Gulf of Mexico.
Funding for the Centers of Excellence and the FLRACEP program comes from the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012 (RESTORE Act), which established a Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund in the Treasury of the United States. The Centers of Excellence Research Grant Programs (CERGPs) are one of five elements established by the RESTORE Act, and each Gulf Coast State Entity will receive 2.5% of Trust Fund principal plus 25% of the interest accrued. The Department of the U.S. Treasury administers this federal grants program, whereby only the eligible state entity (FIO, in the case of Florida) may apply to access their allocation of the trust fund to establish Centers of Excellence in their state.