NFWF Announces $28.8 Million for Gulf Restoration Projects in Mississippi

Second Round of Grants from the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund

WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 17, 2014 - The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced $28.8 million for three Mississippi projects that address high-priority conservation needs on the Mississippi coast. The projects, developed in consultation with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and federal resource agencies, are designed to remedy harm or reduce the risk of future harm to natural resources that were affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The moneys are the second obligation from NFWF’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, created 18 months ago as part of the settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice, BP and Transocean to resolve certain criminal charges against both companies in relation to the spill. Under the allocation formula and other provisions contained in the plea agreements, a total of $356 million will be paid into the Gulf Fund over a five-year period for conservation projects in the state of Mississippi.

“This money means Mississippi is going to be able to restore valuable lost marsh habitat, enhance and protect the habitat of our wildlife throughout the coast, and strengthen our fishing industry,” Governor Phil Bryant said. These three new projects will help continue to build our coastal economy, while improving our coastal way of life, as we address vital issues such as invasive species, shoreline erosion, and overfishing in the Gulf of Mexico.”

“The model for the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund is one of partnership,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “In order to succeed, NFWF must bring together state resource agencies, federal agencies, and other public and private partners, all working in harmony to fund the best projects that will do the most good for the Gulf of Mexico and the communities that depend on it each and every day. The projects we announce today demonstrate the value of our efforts to work in a collaborative fashion to select projects that will provide significant benefits to wildlife and people for many years to come.”

In early 2013, a U.S. District Court approved two plea agreements resolving certain criminal charges against BP and Transocean related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Provisions within the plea agreements direct a total of $2.544 billion to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation over a five-year period. The funds are to be used to support projects that remedy harm or reduce the risk of future harm to natural resources that were affected by the oil spill.

Mississippi’s 2014 Projects

Please click on the project title for more specific information:

Utilization of Dredge Material for Marsh Restoration in Coastal Mississippi

Invasive Species Management on Coastal State Land

Reef Fish Assessment for Mississippi Coastal and Nearshore Gulf Waters

To learn more about the state of Mississippi’s process for identifying priority Gulf Coast restoration projects, please visit www.restore.ms.

To learn more about NFWF’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund in Mississippi, visit http://www.nfwf.org/gulf/Pages/GEBF-Mississippi.aspx

 

 Contact:

 

Rob Blumenthal, 202-857-0166