Gulf Islands National Seashore and Breton National Wildlife Refuge are two of 28 proposed projects to receive important restoration funding
WASHINGTON, DC -- The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees (Trustees) and BP have reached a preliminary agreement identifying over $600 million in post-oil spill restoration projects.
The 28 projects, for implementation in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, will focus on restoration of marshes, barrier islands, dunes, near shore marine environments, and includes several projects to enhance access to recreational and other human-use opportunities across the Gulf.
This agreement is the first step in moving forward with the proposed projects, and is part of the unprecedented agreement with BP to provide $1 billion for restoration prior to the completion of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA).
“The Department of the Interior is pleased the Trustees are moving forward with planning and public review of this proposed suite of early restoration projects,” said Rachel Jacobson, Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks at Interior. “The Trustees have already helped jump-start Gulf restoration with the selection last year of ten projects totaling $71 million. Those projects were presented to the public as draft early restoration plans - a total of 13 meetings were held – before the projects were finalized. The Trustees will use the same process of working with communities on this new group of proposed projects.”
The Department of the Interior is the proponent for several key projects, including proposals for approximately $15 million in restoration work to address injuries at Gulf Islands National Seashore, and $72 million to address injuries at Breton National Wildlife Refuge:
“The Department will continue to support restoration of the resources that were injured by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill,” added Jacobson “We're committed to working with our fellow Trustees to ensure the Gulf is made whole, and that the residents of the region and other stakeholders and interest groups are fully engaged in those efforts.”
Early Restoration is not intended to provide the full extent of restoration needed to satisfy the Trustees' claims against BP. The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Natural Resource Damage Assessment and restoration will continue until the public is fully compensated for the natural resources and services that were lost as a result of the spill.
As was the case with the previous early restoration plans (Phase I and Phase II), before any additional projects are selected for implementation, they will be subjected to all legal requirements, and they will be made available for public review and comment.
Information about the 28 projects, as well as notification of public meeting times, dates and locations will be made public as soon as that information becomes available on the Trustees' website, www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov.