Bluefin tuna swimmingThe federal trustees will work together on restoration for wide-ranging and migratory species. They will coordinate with appropriate state trustees when proposed projects overlap their jurisdictions. This will include water column and ocean bottom fish and invertebrates, sea turtles, birds, marine mammals, sturgeon, and deep-sea coral reefs.

Many species that spend part of their lives in the Gulf of Mexico also migrate to other places—as far away as Canada and the Mediterranean Sea. The Open Ocean Restoration Area will address species throughout their life stages and throughout their geographic range by reducing bycatch, restoring habitat, and other activities. The Trustees may use some of the Open Ocean Restoration Area funds for restoration outside of the Gulf of Mexico. For example, to restore migratory fish populations, we might work to reduce bycatch in the Caribbean Sea or North Atlantic Ocean.

Together, we will develop project-specific restoration plans that are consistent with the programmatic restoration plan (see chart below). As part of the restoration planning process, we will accept restoration project ideas from the public. The public will also have the opportunity to review and comment proposed project-specific restoration plans for the Open Ocean Restoration Area. Once approved, we will begin implementation and monitoring of the selected projects.