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Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund  
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The State of Florida is continuing to assess the environmental damage from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Early assessments clearly show that marine and coastal environments in northwest Florida were particularly impacted. The State of Florida will focus natural resource restoration efforts on these marine and coastal environments by improving water quality and other critical habitat elements, strengthening management of important fish and wildlife populations, and enhancing the resiliency of coastal resources and communities by implementing outcome-based projects that maximize environmental benefits.

In early 2013, a U.S. District Court approved two plea agreements resolving the criminal cases against BP and Transocean which arose from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The agreements direct a total of $2.544 billion to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to fund projects benefitting the natural resources of the Gulf Coast that were impacted by the spill.

NFWF will carry out the plea agreements through its newly established Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (Gulf Fund). Over the next five years, the Gulf Fund will receive a total of $356 million for natural resource projects in Florida. The purpose of the Gulf Fund as set forth in the pleas is to remedy harm and eliminate or reduce the risk of future harm to Gulf Coast natural resources. Funds may only be used to support projects that remedy harm to natural resources (habitats, species) where there has been injury to, or destruction of, loss of, or loss of use of those resources resulting from the oil spill. The plea agreements require NFWF to consult with state and federal resource agencies in identifying projects to be supported by the Gulf Fund.

The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will work directly with NFWF to identify projects for the State of Florida in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The input from these resource agencies will be the primary means through which project investments under the Gulf Fund will be coordinated with the actions of the Natural Resource Damage Trustees and the RESTORE Council.

In order to provide an opportunity for the public to suggest potential projects for the state to consider submitting for funding from the NFWF, the DEP and FWC have created an online project submittal form. Project submittals will be evaluated carefully by FWC and DEP, and selected projects will ultimately be submitted by the Governor for consideration by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

It is important to note that projects submitted previously through this website for consideration under RESTORE Act and NRDA Restoration will also be considered as candidates for funding under the Gulf Fund.

Project Form most compatible with Internet Explorer. Direct questions to Restoration.Projects@dep.state.fl.us 

Settlements

Important Phone Numbers

  • Claims
    (800) 916-4893
  • Report Oil
    (800) 320-0519
  • Environment/Community Hotline
    (866) 448-5816
Media

  • Deepwater Horizon Incident Joint Information Center
    (713) 323-1670
  • DEP Press Office
    (850) 245-2112
  • News Archive

Last updated: April 21, 2014

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