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Two New Projects Proposed to Restore the Gulf

The trustees for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill case have proposed two new early restoration projects. These projects, totaling about $9 million, will help restore habitat for nesting birds and turtles. The goal is to have the habitat restored in time for the spring 2013 nesting season. This is the second round of projects proposed to receive funding from the $1 billion BP committed to early restoration last April.

The trustees have released a Phase II Draft Early Restoration Plan & Environmental Review describing the projects, and are soliciting public comments on the document. You can submit comments online, or at the public meeting being held in Pensacola, FL on November 13.

The plan describes two proposed projects:

  • A Comprehensive Program for Enhanced Management of Avian Breeding Habitat Injured by Response in the Florida Panhandle, Alabama, and Mississippi. This project will reduce disturbance to beach nesting bird habitat by placing fencing around sensitive nesting sites, increasing predator control, and increasing surveillance and monitoring of posted nesting sites to minimize disturbance. These actions will help offset disturbance from response activities that occurred during and after the spill.
  • Improving Habitat Injured by Spill Response: Restoring the Night Sky. This project proposes to reduce artificial lighting impacts on nesting habitat for sea turtles, specifically loggerhead turtles, to restore habitat impaired by disturbance from oil spill response activities.

Early restoration represents an initial step toward fulfilling the responsible parties’ obligation to fund the complete restoration of natural resources impacted by the spill. It is an opportunity to help restoration get started sooner. The long-term damage assessment will continue while early restoration planning is under way.

Learn more about these projects and about early restoration, or comment on the proposed projects.

Posted November 5, 2012

Kemps ridley hatchling makes its way toward the water courtesy Valley Green Space

Kemps ridley hatchling makes its way toward the water

Credit: Scott Nicol