Seagulls on the beach.
In early 2013, a U.S. District Court approved two plea agreements resolving certain
criminal charges against BP and Transocean related to the 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. The funds are to be used to support projects that remedy harm or reduce the risk of future harm to natural resources that were affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil 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.
DEP and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) 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.
On Monday, November 17, 2014 NFWF announced the funding of $34.3 million for
nine Florida projects that address high priority conservation needs. This is the
second set of projects to be implemented by the Gulf Fund. The projects, developed in consultation with the FWC, DEP and federal resource agencies, are designed to remedy harm or reduce the risk of future harm to natural resources that were affected by the oil spill.
Florida Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund Restoration Strategy
The science-based restoration planning will be coordinated by FWC, DEP, with technical assistance from the Northwest Florida Water Management District, the Suwannee River Water Management District, and FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. It will identify priority projects for future funding consideration from NFWF’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund. Read more here. DEP and FWC’s first task in creating the “Florida Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund Restoration Strategy” is to review existing management and conservation plans to identify needs and potential actions. We are looking for input through the following survey,
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Gulf-Restoration, and hope that you will take some time to provide your thoughts. At the moment, there is no defined close date but we anticipate closing it sometime in the late summer/early fall.
You can submit a project idea or proposal using DEP’s
online project submittal form. Please note if you have submitted a project for consideration under NRDA or RESTORE Act funding, it will be considered for NFWF funding.