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Trustees Propose $627 Million in New Restoration Projects

NOAA and the other federal agencies responsible for the damage assessment for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have released a draft plan for the third phase of Early Restoration. The draft plan proposes more than $625 million in new early restoration projects across the Gulf states—making this the largest phase of Early Restoration yet. The draft plan also outlines the Trustees’ proposed programmatic approach to early restoration planning for Phase III and future early restoration plans. The draft plan is available for public review and comment through February 4, 2014.

Included in the draft are 44 proposed projects that aim to restore barrier islands, dunes, marshes, shorelines, seagrasses, and oyster beds. They also begin to address lost recreational use of natural resources through boat ramps, park enhancements, and other projects. View the draft plan and fact sheets for each project.

Of the $627 million, ecological projects comprise about $397 million, which is approximately 63 percent of the total. Lost recreational use projects make up the remaining $230 million. Both approaches meet criteria under the Oil Pollution Act and other applicable laws and guidelines.

As with the two previous phases of Early Restoration, we are asking for your input. You can give us your feedback at public meetings, or provide written comments online, or via U.S. mail:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 49567
Atlanta, GA 30345

Early restoration projects represent an initial step toward fulfilling the responsible parties’ obligation to pay for restoration of injured natural resources. During Early Restoration, the Trustees and BP must negotiate and agree to each restoration project. Meanwhile, the full damage assessment continues. Ultimately, the responsible parties are obligated to compensate the public for the full scope of natural resource injuries caused by the spill, including the cost of assessment and restoration planning.

Posted December 23, 2013

Sea Oats

Beach habitat would be restored as part of the proposed third phase of early restoration.