NFWF Approves More Than $71 Million for New Restoration Projects on the Gulf Coast
Foundation announces eighth round of grants from its Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund
WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 19, 2020) – The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced the award of more than $71 million from its Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (GEBF) to 13 new projects and three amendments to ongoing projects in the states of Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and Texas. Developed in consultation with state and federal resource agencies, the projects are designed to remedy harm and reduce risks of future harm to natural resources that were affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Today’s announcement represents the eighth round of awards from the GEBF, for a total of nearly $1.5 billion awarded from NFWF to projects across the five Gulf States.
“Since the creation of the GEBF in 2013, its investments have supported significant protection and restoration projects that provide long-term benefit to coastal natural resources,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “The awards announced today represent the continued effort of the GEBF to provide on-the-ground support to preserve, restore and enhance important habitats along the Gulf Coast for the benefit of fish and wildlife populations injured during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.”
As required under the plea agreements between the U.S. Department of Justice and BP and Transocean, the GEBF received funds from remedial orders that resolved certain criminal charges relating to the 2010 oil spill totaling $2.54 billion over a five-year period to be used to support natural resource projects in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Per the terms of the plea agreements, NFWF consulted with state resource agencies, as well as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), to identify potential projects. The consultations ensure coordination between NFWF’s GEBF and the agencies’ related activities under the Natural Resource Damage Assessment and RESTORE Act programs.
The GEBF projects announced today continue to bolster ongoing Gulf Coast conservation outcomes and promote partnerships with local and state partners to further maximize sustainable benefits to coastal ecosystems. The list of the new 2020 GEBF projects and additional information on all projects in the Gulf Coast can be found here.
The NFWF Board of Directors approved the award of nearly $26 million for three new projects and one amendment to an ongoing project in the state of Alabama. The new Alabama projects address critical conservation needs such as beach and dune restoration as well as watershed and stream stabilization that will benefit water quality in significant coastal wetland habitats. Nearly $19 million was awarded to expand the conservation impact of the previously awarded Dauphin Island Causeway shoreline restoration project.
The number of awards from the GEBF in the state of Alabama now stands at 39, with a total current value of more than $255 million. All projects were selected for funding following extensive consultation with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, FWS and NOAA.
The NFWF Board of Directors approved the award of more than $20 million for three new projects and one amendment to an ongoing project in the state of Florida. The new Florida projects address critical conservation needs such as expanding recovery of shorebird and seabird populations, constructing a new marine mammal pathobiology facility, and protecting significant costal habitat. Nearly $2 million was awarded to extend an existing award to the Marine Mammal Stranding Network providing additional capacity for first-response care for distressed marine mammals and scientific data collection to improve management of marine mammal species.
The number of awards from the GEBF in the state of Florida now stands at 43, with a total current value of more than $249 million. All projects were selected for funding following extensive consultation with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, FWS and NOAA.
To date, the number of awards from the GEBF in the state of Louisiana stands at 13, with a total current value of more than $606 million. These projects were selected after extensive consultation with the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, FWS and NOAA.
The state of Louisiana continues to make significant progress in advancing previously approved GEBF awards, which advance fundamental components of the state’s comprehensive Coastal Master Plan.
The NFWF Board of Directors approved the award of more than $5 million for one new project and one amendment to an ongoing project in the state of Mississippi. The new Mississippi project will create or enhance habitat for migratory shorebird and waterfowl species, and an amendment was approved to extend recreational fish data collection methods in Mississippi coastal and nearshore waters.
The total number of awards from the GEBF in the state of Mississippi now stands at 26, with a total current value of more than $161 million. All projects were selected for funding following extensive consultation with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, FWS and NOAA.
The NFWF Board of Directors approved the award of nearly $20 million for six new projects in the state of Texas. The Texas projects address critical conservation needs such as wetland restoration, acquisition of a conservation easement on thousands of acres of priority coastal habitat, shoreline protection and the protection of rookery islands.
These new awards complete obligations from the GEBF in the state of Texas, with 61 projects having received over $203 million from the fund. All projects were selected for funding following extensive consultation with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Texas General Lands Office, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, FWS and NOAA.
About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, corporate and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 5,000 organizations and generated a total conservation impact of $6.1 billion. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.