GEBF in Alabama
“Investments under the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund have helped the state of Alabama achieve major conservation priorities that might otherwise have been a challenge to reach. We are improving water quality in Mobile Bay and protecting the Grand Bay Savanna. We are enhancing important commercial and recreational fisheries through the restoration of oyster reefs in the Mississippi Sound and expanding artificial reefs along our coast to bolster populations of red snapper, all in an effort to preserve our natural resources for our people.” — Alabama Governor Kay Ivey
To date, the number of awards from the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (GEBF) in the state of Alabama stands at 34, with a total current value of more than $213 million. These projects were selected for funding following extensive consultation with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The projects in Alabama 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 GEBF.
To learn more about the projects the GEBF has funded in Alabama, view the comprehensive list of projects.
Strategic Land Acquisition in Alabama
The GEBF awarded nearly $94 million to acquire and protect more than 7,000 acres of important coastal habitat in Alabama. These landscape-scale acquisitions include the protection of the Gulf Highlands property on the Fort Morgan Peninsula, expansion of Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge and protection of more than 2,800 acres in the Grand Bay Savanna in south Mobile County.
Alabama Artificial Reef and Habitat Enhancement
Nearly $35 million has been awarded by the GEBF to the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to enhance and expand the state’s artificial reef program in coastal Alabama. Projects range from revitalizing degraded reefs in the upper estuary to creating new reef habitat along the continental shelf of the Gulf of Mexico. Together, projects are designed to improve habitats for, and enhance populations of, reef fish and other species
D’Olive Watershed Restoration
The D’Olive watershed is rated as one of the most impaired watersheds in the state of Alabama. The Mobile Bay National Estuary Program is using nearly $13 million in GEBF funds to restore highly eroded streams throughout the D’Olive watershed to restore water quality in Mobile Bay.
NFWF is engaged in consultation with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, FWS and NOAA to identify priority conservation projects for consideration under the GEBF. Review of the 2020 cycle proposals is expected to begin in the spring of 2020.
About the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund in Alabama
Under the allocation formula and other provisions contained in the plea agreements, the GEBF has received $356 million for project expenditures in the state of Alabama.
To learn more about Alabama’s process for identifying priority Gulf Coast restoration projects, visit: www.AlabamaCoastalRestoration.org