More Than $280 Million Awarded for Restoration Projects on the Gulf Coast 

NFWF Announces Sixth Round of Grants from its Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund

loggerhead sea turtle hatchling
Loggerhead sea turtle hatchling 

​WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 19, 2018) - The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced the award of more than $280 million from its Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (GEBF) to 21 new projects in the states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Texas. Developed in consultation with state and federal resource agencies, the projects are designed to remedy harm and reduce the risk of future harm to natural resources that were affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Today’s announcement represents the sixth round of awards from the GEBF. With today’s announcement, NFWF has awarded nearly $1.3 billion dollars, or more than half of available funds. 

“One of the primary goals of the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund is to provide lasting and future benefits to the types of natural resources impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “The 2018 awards advance that goal by improving coastal resilience and bolstering the long-term health of the Gulf of Mexico. By restoring critical coastal habitats such as marshes, oyster reefs and barrier islands, the projects supported by GEBF funding will benefit birds, fish, marine mammals and other wildlife while also reducing the risk of future harm from storms and other events that threaten local communities and economies.”

NFWF created the GEBF in 2013 to receive and administer funds resulting from remedial orders in plea agreements between the U.S. Department of Justice and BP and Transocean. The plea agreements resolved certain criminal charges against both companies relating to the 2010 oil spill. Provisions within the agreements directed a total of $2.544 billion to NFWF over a five-year period to be used to support natural resource projects in each of the five Gulf States.

As required under 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 project priorities and funding needs. 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 complement those previously announced or currently under consideration by the Natural Resource Damage Assessment and RESTORE Act programs. Collectively, and where appropriate, these efforts are being coordinated and leveraged to advance large-scale Gulf Coast conservation outcomes and maximize sustainable environmental benefits.

ALABAMA

The NFWF Board of Directors approved the award of more than $48.7 million for eight new projects in the state of Alabama. The Alabama projects address high-priority conservation needs, including the continuation of efforts to improve fisheries management within the state’s coastal waters, protection and restoration of vulnerable shorelines and a barrier island, a priority water quality project and expansion of the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge. Each of these proposals furthers conservation priorities identified through the coastal planning effort that was funded through GEBF in 2014. A list of the new 2018 GEBF projects in Alabama can be found here

The number of awards from the GEBF in the state of Alabama now stands at 32, with a total value of more than $195 million. All projects were selected for funding following extensive consultation with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, FWS and NOAA. Additional information on all GEBF projects in Alabama can be found here.

FLORIDA

The NFWF Board of Directors approved the award of more than $53 million for seven new projects in the state of Florida. The Florida projects address high priority restoration and conservation needs identified through the state’s recently completed GEBF Restoration Strategy. Projects include a large-scale oyster reef restoration project in Pensacola Bay, a conservation easement over coastal wetlands and forests in the Big Bend region to protect water quality and habitats, three key projects to help enhance sea turtle nesting, and shoreline stabilization of important wading bird rookery islands. A list of the new 2018 GEBF projects in Florida can be found here

The number of awards from the GEBF in the state of Florida now stands at 33, with a total value of more than $160 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. Additional information on all GEBF projects in Florida can be found here.

LOUISIANA

The NFWF Board of Directors approved an award of $161.4 million to support restoration of the Terrebone Basin barrier island system in the state of Louisiana. Specifically, the funding will support restoration and beach nourishment of West Belle Headland, Timbalier and Trinity Islands and allow the state to maintain this important stretch of barrier islands and plan for their sustainability into the future. More information on this project can be found here.  

To date, NFWF has awarded more than $625 million to 13 projects in the state of Louisiana. The new project was selected for funding following extensive consultation with the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, FWS and NOAA. Additional information on all GEBF projects in Louisiana can be found here

MISSISSIPPI

To date, NFWF has awarded nearly $140 million from the GEBF for 18 projects in the state of Mississippi. These projects were selected after extensive consultation with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, FWS and NOAA. 

The state of Mississippi continues to make significant progress in advancing previously-approved GEBF awards. As implementation continues, NFWF is working closely with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and its partners to identify high-priority conservation investments that remedy harm to natural resources affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and anticipates announcing new project awards in early 2019. Additional information on all GEBF projects in Mississippi can be found here

TEXAS

The NFWF Board of Directors approved the award of more than $19.1 million for five new projects. The Texas projects address high-priority conservation needs, including the acquisition of significant coastal habitats and restoration work to address resiliency needs across the Texas coast in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. A list of the new 2018 GEBF projects in Texas can be found here

The total number of awards from the GEBF in the state of Texas now stands at 47, with a total value of more than $150 million. All projects were selected for funding following extensive consultation with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas General Lands Office, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, FWS and NOAA. Additional information on all GEBF projects in Texas can be found here.

This year the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund marked its fifth anniversary and the eight-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. A video and report documenting GEBF’s work in the Gulf to date can be found here.  

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 4,500 organizations and generated a conservation impact of more than $4.8 billion. Learn more at www.nfwf.org​.

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 Contact:

 

Rob Blumenthal, 202-857-0166