Press Release

U.S. Rep. Castor announces new grant to Florida Institute of Oceanography at USF

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Tampa, February 1, 2019 | comments
U.S. Rep. Castor announced today a new grant of $1,951,773 to continue to support a fisheries and spawning habitat research effort launched from a previous grant award. In addition, this grant will support the competitive selection of several new projects to focus on science, monitoring and technology related to marine wildlife research, seafloor mapping and science support for the northwest Florida estuary programs.
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“One of my top priorities in Congress since the 2010 BP disaster has been to work to return the Gulf of Mexico and communities to better than they were before the blowout. An important step towards that was designating the Florida Institute of Oceanography at the University of South Florida(FIO) to administer the Florida RESTORE Act Centers of Excellence Program and the major grants tied to it have since flowed through Tampa Bay to support restoration projects that benefit our environment and economy,” U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) said.

U.S. Rep. Castor announced today a new grant of $1,951,773  to continue to support a fisheries and spawning habitat research effort launched from a previous grant award. In addition, this grant will support the competitive selection of several new projects to focus on science, monitoring and technology related to marine wildlife research, seafloor mapping and science support for the northwest Florida estuary programs.

“The Gulf and Tampa Bay’s environment and economy were hit hard by the BP disaster and we successfully pressed to hold BP accountable. It was just as vital that from the very beginning we championed the expertise that our research institutions in Tampa Bay have to offer – it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and nine years later, Tampa Bay continues to receive significant grant funding for restoration and our region is leading in oceanography and marine science research,” U.S. Rep. Castor added.

U.S. Rep. Castor was an outspoken critic of BP following the Deepwater Horizon disaster. She fought to hold BP accountable, adoption of the RESTORE Act, research funding, and for the economic recovery of businesses impacted by the blowout. She pressed to address recovery with urgency and immediately following the disaster in 2010, she helped to secure $10 million from BP to fund a rapid research response by the Florida Institute of Oceanography as well as urged BP to provide samples of its oil that were necessary for USF research. U.S. Rep. Castor also successfully fought to have the RESTORE Act direct 80 percent of fines and penalties paid by BP for violations of the Clean Water Act to restoring the Gulf Coast. The first bill she filed this Congress was reintroduction of her bipartisan Florida Coastal Protection Act, which would make permanent the moratorium on oil drilling that exists now but is slated to expire in 2022. U.S. Rep. Castor is now chair of the U.S. House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis and intends to bring the same level urgency to meeting the challenge of charting a clean and renewable energy future.

Today's grant was awarded by the Office of Gulf Coast Restoration in the Department of the Treasury. 

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Watch this clip broadcast by WTVT on January 31, 2019 of U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor’s climate change discussion with St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and other community leaders: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbgR8VSBXV8&feature=youtu.be

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