Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund

Roseate spoonbill

In early 2013, a U.S. District Court approved two plea agreements resolving certain criminal cases against BP and Transocean which arose from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill. The agreements directed a total of $2.544 billion to NFWF to fund projects benefiting the natural resources of the Gulf Coast that were impacted by the spill.

Between 2013 and 2018, NFWF’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (GEBF) received a total of $1.272 billion for barrier island and river diversion projects in Louisiana, $356 million each for natural resource projects in Alabama, Florida and Mississippi, and $203 million for natural resource projects in Texas.

To date, the GEBF has supported 201 projects worth over $2.3 billion. These projects leverage or complement other conservation investments worth more than $1 billion, creating a total impact of more than $3.3 billion.

GEBF funds are awarded to state and local organizations with the boots on the ground, boats in the water and expertise on-hand to implement projects with immediate and long-term benefits to Gulf Coast natural resources. These awards have invested in projects to conserve and enhance coastal habitats, restore beach and dune habitats, protect habitat important to coastal bird species, enhance commercial and recreational fisheries, and increase the capacity of networks to respond to mass stranding events benefiting marine mammals and sea turtles.

In total, the 201 projects will:

  • ​Protect, restore and enhance nearly 270,000 acres of wetlands and other coastal habitats, including more than 47,000 acres of marsh habitat, 2,600 acres of beach and dune habitat, and more than 130 miles of vulnerable shoreline 
  • Protect over 15,000 nests annually for priority beach-nesting birds in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and Texas
  • Increase sea turtle hatchlings by reducing light pollution and predation across Florida's Gulf Coast beaches
  • Advance priority river diversion projects to benefit coastal Louisiana
  • Bolster fish populations through improved management and data collection
  • Restore more than 1,100 acres of oyster reef
  • Increase capacity to treat injured marine mammals and sea turtles

View a comprehensive list of projects awarded by the GEBF.​

Staff Representatives

Senior Vice President, Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund

Director, Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (AL, FL, MS)

Jonathan Porthouse

Director, Coastal Habitat Restoration

Manager, Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund