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.

A Kemps Ridley sea turtle at Padre Island National SeashoreThe 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 October 5, 2015 the Trustees released the Draft Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement. The draft plan was released at the same time the U.S. Department of Justice lodged a proposed consent decree to resolve civil claims against BP, the party primarily responsible for the oil spill. The consent decree includes $8.1 billion in natural resource damages paid by BP (this includes $1 billion BP already committed to pay for early restoration). BP will also pay up to an additional $700 million (some of which is in the form of accrued interest) specifically to address any future natural resource damages unknown at the time of the agreement and to assist in adaptive management needs.

Download the 50-page Plan Summary

Download the Draft Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement.