NFWF Announces $15.7 Million for Gulf Restoration Projects in Florida
Projects funded as a part of initial investment of funds derived from settlement of criminal charges against BP and Transocean
WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 14, 2013 -- The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced the funding of $15.7 million for six Florida projects that address high priority conservation needs. The projects, developed in consultation with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection 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 first disbursements from NFWF’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, created earlier this year as part of the settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice and BP and Transocean to resolve certain criminal charges against both companies in relation to the spill.
Today’s announcement represents the initial obligation of funds from the first disbursements received by the Gulf Fund. Under the allocation formula and other provisions contained in the plea agreements, $356 million will be paid into the Gulf Fund over the next five years for conservation projects in the the state of Florida.
Governor Scott said, “The projects announced today will help Florida continue its economic momentum while better protecting and restoring our environment. I would like to thank the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and our local partners, for prioritizing our state’s conservation needs so we can ensure that Floridians and our visitors can always enjoy our state’s natural beauty.”
“The proposed projects are the culmination of months of work on the part of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and, more importantly, our partner in these important conservation efforts, the State of Florida. The establishment of the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund is a significant step forward in ongoing efforts to remedy the environmental damage caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill,” said Jeff Trandahl, Executive Director and CEO of NFWF. “In particular, we appreciate the efforts of Nick Wiley, Executive Director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and Mimi Drew, Special Advisor to Secretary Vinyard of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, whom Governor Scott has designated as the lead representatives for the state. They have worked with us to ensure these funds are directed to the highest priority conservation needs in Florida.”
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 pleas 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.
“In the coming months and years, we look forward to strengthening the partnerships that will allow us to build strong consensus among stakeholders and interest groups to ensure the projects we fund have a lasting benefit to the State of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico,” added Trandahl.
Florida’s Phase I Projects
Click on the project title for more specific information:
To learn more about the State of Florida’s process for identifying priority Gulf Coast restoration projects, visit: http://www.dep.state.fl.us/deepwaterhorizon/default.htm
To learn more about NFWF’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund in Florida, visit http://www.nfwf.org/gulf/Pages/GEBF-Florida.aspx