November 16, 2017

NFWF Awards $101.5 Million for Gulf Coast Restoration Projects

News Source: Philanthropy News Digest

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has announced grants totaling more than $101.5 million in support of nineteen coastal restoration projects in five Gulf states.

The fifth round of grants awarded through NFWF's Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, which was created in 2013 to help remedy environmental harm and reduce the risk of future damage to natural resources affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, will fund efforts in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. Under plea agreements between the U.S. Department of Justice, BP, and Transocean, $2.544 billion will be directed to NFWF over five years; to date, the fund has distributed more than $1 billion in grants.

The grants include $33.5 million for seven projects in Alabama, including the acquisition and restoration of coastal habitats and assessments that will inform future GEBF awards; $11.6 million for four projects in Florida, including the monitoring of fisheries, coastal dune lake restoration, and a sea turtle and marine mammal stranding analysis; $2.2 million for a project in Louisiana that will collect data and surveys needed to update the design of and advance permitting for the restoration of East Timbalier Island; $39.3 million for projects in Mississippi that address high-priority conservation needs, the beneficial use of dredge material and reef fish assessment projects, the acquisition of important priority habitats in the lower Pascagoula River, and restoration planning; and nearly $15 million for twelve projects in Mississippi, including the restoration and acquisition of coastal habitat, protection of critical stretches of the state's shoreline, enhancement of waterbird and beach nesting bird habitats, and efforts to address environmental damage related to Hurricane Harvey.

"The awards we announce today represent our fifth round of obligations from the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, and include important investments to protect and restore species and habitats impacted by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill," said NFWF executive director and CEO Jeff Trandahl. "Investments made under the GEBF continue to protect and enhance critical coastal habitats, while bolstering populations of Gulf Coast birds, marine mammals and sea turtles, and other fish and wildlife species affected by the oil spill."