In November, 2013, following extensive consultation with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and federal resource agencies, NFWF announced its intent to obligate $12.6 million from the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund for three restoration projects in the state of Alabama.
The Alabama projects address high priority conservation needs. They represent important efforts to protect and enhance natural and living resources, as well as significant planning efforts to develop future projects for consideration under the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund.
Click on the project title for more information:
Restoration and Enhancement of Oyster Reefs
D’Olive Watershed Restoration
Fowl River Watershed Restoration – Phase I
NFWF anticipates approving projects on an annual basis and is engaged in consultation with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and federal resource agencies to identify priority conservation projects for consideration under the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund for calendar year 2014 and beyond.
About the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund
NFWF’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund was established in early 2013 as a result of two plea agreements resolving the criminal cases against BP and Transocean after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The agreements direct a total of $2.544 billion to NFWF over a five-year period. The funds are to be used to support projects that remedy harm to natural resources (habitats, species) where there has been injury to, or destruction of, loss of, or loss of use of those resources resulting from the oil spill. Projects are expected to occur within reasonable proximity to where the impacts occurred, as appropriate.
Consistent with the terms of the plea agreements, funding priorities include, but are not limited to, projects that contribute significantly to the following natural resource outcomes:
Restore and maintain the ecological functions of landscape-scale coastal habitats, including barrier islands, beaches and coastal marshes, and ensure their viability and resilience against existing and future threats;
Restore and maintain the ecological integrity of priority coastal bays and estuaries; and
Replenish and protect living resources including oysters, red snapper and other reef fish, Gulf Coast bird populations, sea turtles and marine mammals.
This list was prepared in collaboration with state and federal resource agencies. For a list of potential actions that might be considered to advance these outcomes, please click here.
Learn more about NFWF’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund.
The Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund in Alabama
Under the allocation formula and other provisions contained in the plea agreements, $356 million of the total amount to be deposited into the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (which, again, will be funded over a five-year period) for project expenditures in the state of Alabama.
The Oil Spill in Alabama
As a result of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident, Alabama suffered serious, direct environmental and economic injury. Impacts of the spill were widespread and extensive, and included significant oiling of beaches and littoral areas, tidal marshes, and estuarine environments. Natural resources affected by the spill include ecologically, recreationally, and commercially important species and their habitats.
Restoration and improvement efforts under the GEBF will focus on the overall health of coastal bays and estuaries and their associate tributaries, marine and coastal habitat improvements, coastal shoreline protection and targeted species- specific habitat restoration.
Alabama is working to develop a holistic approach to restoration efforts that maximizes the benefit of current and future funding with the overall goal of achieving long-lasting and sustainable environmental benefit for the state and region. Learn more at www.AlabamaCoastalRestoration.org