Royal terns and pelicans at Breton NWR with oil boom in background






Royal terns and pelicans at Breton NWR during Deepwater Horizon oil spill

Deepwater Horizon

The April 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico resulted in the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

The Department of the Interior is playing a major role in many restoration efforts. Two of our largest endeavors are the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment (DWH NRDA) and RESTORE Act implementation.

The DWH NRDA, conducted by the Trustee Council, has determined the nature and extent of injury to our nation’s natural resources caused by the spill, and the kind and amount of restoration needed to restore the Gulf to the condition it would be in if the spill had not occurred.

On April 4, 2016, District Judge Carl Barbier approved a historic $20.8 billion global settlement agreement with BP, the party he ruled was primarily responsible for the oil spill. According to the settlement, BP will pay the Trustees up to $8.8 billion for restoration to address injuries to natural resources. These funds will be used to implement the Trustees' Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement. The plan and associated documents are posted on the Trustees' web site.

The settlement also includes $5.5 billion in Clean Water Act penalities. As required by the RESTORE Act, 80% of those funds will be directed to Gulf restoration as determined by the RESTORE Council members. More information about the RESTORE Council can be found at the Council's website.

Additional information can be found at the links below: