The Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act (RESTORE Act) was signed into law on July 6, 2012. The RESTORE Act calls for a regional approach to restoring the long-term health of the valuable natural ecosystem and economy of the Gulf Coast region. The RESTORE Act dedicates 80 percent of civil and administrative penalties paid under the Clean Water Act, after the date of enactment, by the responsible parties in connection with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund (Trust Fund) for ecosystem restoration, economic recovery, and tourism promotion in the Gulf Coast region. In addition to creating the Trust Fund, the RESTORE Act established the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council). The Council includes the Governors of the States of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, the Secretaries of the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, the Army, Commerce, Homeland Security, and the Interior, and the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Council plays a key role in developing strategies and implementing projects that help ensure the Gulf’s natural resources are sustainable and available for future generations. This has included the development of a Comprehensive Plan to restore the ecosystem and the economy of the Gulf Coast region. Approved in 2013 and updated in 2016, the Comprehensive Plan provides a framework to implement a coordinated, Gulf Coast region-wide restoration effort in a way that restores, protects and revitalizes the Gulf Coast (Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, 2016). The Comprehensive Plan identifies five goals for Gulf Coast restoration: (1) Restore and Conserve Habitat, (2) Restore Water Quality, (3) Replenish and Protect Living Coastal and Marine Resources, (4) Enhance Community Resilience, and (5) Restore and Revitalize the Gulf Economy. Under the Council-Selected Restoration Component of the RESTORE Act, the Council develops Funded Priority Lists (FPLs) that describe the projects and programs it will fund. Projects and programs funded through this component must further the goals and objectives of the Council’s Comprehensive Plan and address at least one of the restoration criteria identified in the RESTORE Act. The Initial FPL, finalized in December of 2015, selected projects and programs that focused on the first two goals above, with a strong emphasiss on watershed and estuary restoration and foundational cross-Gulf projects. Approved as a Gulf-wide investment in the 2015 Initial FPL, the Council Monitoring and Assessment Program (CMAP) is administered jointly by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Funded activities include the development of basic, foundational components for Gulf-wide monitoring that will be used by the Council to measure the effectiveness of investments in Gulf restoration. The program, in coordination with the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) and through collaboration with the Gulf States, Federal and local partners, academia, non-governmental organizations, and business and industry, has leveraged existing resources, capacities, and expertise to build on existing monitoring data and programs.