Early restoration efforts continue in the Gulf of Mexico: NRD Trustees release Phase lll draft Early Restoration Plan outlining 44 proposed projects estimated at US $627-million.
Federal and state Natural Resource Damages (NRD) Trustees have released their Phase III Draft Early Restoration Plan for public review and comment. The plan outlines 44 proposed projects on which BP and the Trustees reached agreement in principle during the past year.
BP explain that the projects, totaling an estimated $627 million, are part of BP's unprecedented commitment to provide up to $1 billion in early restoration funding to expedite recovery of natural resources injured as a result of the Deepwater Horizon accident.
Twenty-eight of the projects contained in the plan were announced in May of this year and are estimated to cost $594 million. Those projects are located across Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida and include ecological projects that will restore habitat and resources, as well as projects designed to enhance recreational use of natural resources. The nine ecological projects will include restoration of dune, seagrass and oyster habitats; restoration of barrier islands that protect coastal areas from waves and tides; and creation of living shorelines that will protect against coastal erosion and provide habitat for wildlife.
The additional 16 recreational use projects on which BP and the Trustees reached agreement in principle last week are expected to cost approximately $33 million. The proposed projects, all located in Florida, are recreational use projects including construction of boardwalks, fishing piers, boat ramps, canoe and kayak launches, and access roads.
BP say they have not had a chance to thoroughly review and comment on the Phase III Draft Early Restoration Plan, but they are encouraged that the Trustees are taking action towards approving and implementing these 44 projects.
Ten additional early restoration projects expected to cost $71 million – including efforts to restore dunes, marshes, oyster habitats, and bird and sea turtle nesting habitats – are already in place or underway along the coast from Florida to Louisiana.
Further information at: www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/wp-content/uploads/TC_P3_news_FINAL_12_5_13.pdf