CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas, Jan. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Harte Research Institute (HRI) for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi was named as a lead organization of the state's RESTORE Research Centers of Excellence.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality announced Friday two consortia to establish Centers of Excellence in Texas.
The RESTORE Act (Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States) resulted from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, and directs penalties into a trust fund to support programs, projects, and activities that restore and protect the environment and economy of the Gulf Coast region. RESTORE directs 80% of all Deepwater Horizon fines and judgments to the Gulf. Some 2.5% goes to establish a Center of Excellence in each of the five states bordering the gulf. Depending on final judgments, that could total from $10 million to $40 million available to each center. Of that, $4 million is expected to be available immediately.
The robust gulf research being done at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and the University's location positions the University to be the ideal recipients of the RESTORE funding. The Harte Research Institute of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi is the only marine science institution dedicated solely to study of the Gulf of Mexico.
"This center builds on the belief that the Gulf must be studied as a whole," said Dr. Flavius Killebrew, President and CEO. "That's the specialty of the Harte Research Institute and all the researchers who understand that the Gulf of Mexico doesn't have political boundaries."
Texas will join other Centers of Excellence in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.
"All of us at the Harte Research Institute are very gratified and humbled to help lead a statewide effort with this Center of Excellence," said Dr. Larry McKinney, Executive Director of the HRI. "The Center of Excellence gives us opportunities to bring together all the best Texas scientists to focus on Gulf problems."
About the Harte Research Institute: http://www.harteresearchinstitute.org/
About Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi: http://www.tamucc.edu/.
SOURCE Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi