Open Ocean Trustees Initiate Third Restoration Plan

Both birds, like these Northern Gannets, and every type of Gulf of Mexico habitat birds use were impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Credit: Daniel Lerps/Creative Commons

The Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group has initiated drafting of its third post settlement draft restoration plan to address, in part, natural resource injuries to birds caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

We began this restoration planning effort in March 2021, by requesting the public submit project ideas that could benefit the Birds and Sturgeon Restoration Types. We greatly appreciate the submissions in response to our request for project ideas. We organized and screened 76 submitted ideas.

We screened project ideas for birds and sturgeon and decided not to include sturgeon projects in this draft restoration plan. The Trustees decided that it is important to complete the ongoing Open Ocean sturgeon projects before proceeding with additional Sturgeon restoration. These projects are making important progress in providing information needed to identify restoration that will provide the greatest benefits with the remaining restoration allocation.

  • The draft restoration plan will be consistent with the Trustee Council’s 2016 Programmatic Restoration Plan and will include proposed projects that best address the bird priorities identified in our request for project ideas.
  • The draft plan will provide information on proposed projects or activities, including funding and our evaluation of project alternatives under the Oil Pollution Act and National Environmental Policy Act.
  • The public will have the opportunity to review and provide comment on the draft plan and proposed projects.
  • After the public comment period ends, we will consider and incorporate public comments as appropriate before completing the final restoration plan.

Stay tuned to the Open Ocean Restoration Area webpage or sign up for our Gulf Spill Restoration email bulletins for future updates.