$99.6 Million Approved to Restore Gulf-wide Resources Injured by Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

The Regionwide plan includes $18.6 million dedicated to four projects to restore sea turtles; one is focused on nesting sites. Credit: Shutterstock

The Deepwater Horizon Regionwide Trustee Implementation Group has finalized its first restoration plan (PDF, 401 pages), focused on restoring sea turtles, marine mammals, oysters, and birds. The plan includes $99.6 million in 11 restoration projects to be implemented across the Gulf states and offshore waters. It also targets specific locations in Mexico and on the Atlantic coast of Florida. 

Final Project Alternatives

The projects described in the final restoration plan include:

  • Four projects ($18.6 million) will restore sea turtles by focusing on nesting beaches, enhancing stranding and salvage networks, and collaborating with recreational and commercial fisheries to reduce bycatch and to gather information to inform potential future restoration projects. One of the sea turtle projects, the “Restore and Enhance Sea Turtle Nest Productivity” project, includes components located on key sea turtle nesting beaches on the Atlantic coast of Florida and in Rancho Nuevo, Mexico.
  • Three projects ($7.2 million) will restore marine mammals through enhancing stranding and salvage networks and working with fisheries, including collaborating with shrimp fishing communities to reduce dolphin entanglements in gear, and hook-and-line fisheries to reduce dolphin injuries and deaths.
  • One project ($35.8 million) will increase the resilience of and restore oyster reefs by linking brood reefs and sink reefs in each of the five U.S. Gulf  states.
  • Two projects ($31 million) will restore birds through habitat restoration and nesting colony management.
  • Additionally, one project ($7 million) will restore both sea turtles and birds through the removal of marine debris.

A draft of the restoration plan was released for 45 days of public comment in March 2021. The Regionwide Trustee Implementation Group held two public meetings to present the plan, take questions, and accept public comments. Public comments can be found in Chapter 5 of the final plan.

The Regionwide Trustee Implementation Group, exemplifying collaboration and coordination among the Trustees working to restore the environment after the 2010 oil spill, includes four federal agencies and all five Gulf of Mexico states. Wildlife and other natural resources affected by the spill live and migrate across jurisdictional boundaries, which requires a regionwide approach to restoration.

Implementing restoration projects across broad geographic areas will ensure that restoration efforts are comprehensive and effective for the entire ecosystem. The projects will also complement projects planned or underway in other restoration areas.

Visit the Regionwide Restoration Area page or sign up for our Gulf Spill Restoration email bulletins for future updates.

Final Plan and Fact Sheets