Deepwater Horizon Trustees Propose Comprehensive Restoration Plan for the Gulf of Mexico
Trustees ask for public comment on draft plan, which would allocate up to $8.8 billion for restoration from proposed settlement with BP
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees (Trustees) propose a comprehensive, integrated, ecosystem restoration plan for the Gulf of Mexico. The draft plan is based on an assessment of impacts to the Gulf’s natural resources—and the services those resources provide—following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Draft Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan (PDARP) and Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) is available for public review and comment through Dec. 4. It is posted at www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov and will be available at public repositories throughout the Gulf and at the meetings listed below.
The draft plan allocates funds from a proposed settlement with BP of up to $8.8 billion for natural resource injuries stemming from the spill. The Trustees propose to accept this settlement, which will resolve BP’s liability for natural resource injuries stemming from the spill.
The draft plan allocates funds to meet five restoration goals, and 13 restoration types designed to meet these goals. The restoration types address a broad range of impacts at both regional and local scales. The plan also provides guidance for identifying, evaluating, and selecting future restoration projects. Together, these efforts will restore wildlife and habitat and increase recreational opportunities in the Gulf.
The five goals of the draft plan are to: 1) restore and conserve habitat; 2) restore water quality; 3) replenish and protect living coastal and marine resources; 4) provide and enhance recreational opportunities; and 5) provide for monitoring, adaptive management, and administrative oversight to support restoration implementation.
The 13 proposed restoration types are:
* Wetlands, coastal, and nearshore habitats
* Habitat projects on federally managed lands
* Nutrient reduction
* Water quality
* Fish and water column invertebrates
* Submerged aquatic vegetation
* Sea turtles
* Marine mammals
* Low-light and deep seafloor communities
* Provide and enhance recreational opportunities
In proposing this plan to address the ecosystem-level injuries caused by this spill, we considered both the potential environmental benefits and impacts. The plan does not identify specific projects for each restoration type, but lays out a framework for developing future project-specific restoration plans. The public will have the opportunity to comment on these subsequent restoration plans.
All public meetings will begin with an interactive open house where the public can learn details of the assessment and proposed restoration activities. The open house will be followed by a formal presentation and opportunity for the public to provide comments on the draft plan, as well as on the proposed settlement with BP.
Tues., Oct. 27, 2015
Pensacola Bay Center, 201 E Gregory St Pensacola, FL 32502
6 PM Open House
7 PM Public Meeting