Florida’s natural resources are in line to receive $356 million from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). Penalties from criminal cases against BP and Transocean from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill were directed to the Foundation for distribution to five Gulf States affected by the spill
The Gulf Fund, as set forth in the plea agreements, is to “remedy harm and eliminate or reduce the risk of future harm to Gulf Coast natural resources.” NFWF will work with state and federal agencies to identify projects. NFWF is directing project proposals to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP): http://www.dep.state.fl.us/deepwaterhorizon/default.htm.
Audubon has recommended a set of science-based and cost-effective projects to FDEP that will help produce good conservation outcomes. See our priorities document here: http://bit.ly/16tzBes. Florida agency assessments show that marine and coastal environments in northwest Florida were especially affected by the spill.
Natural resource restoration in these marine and coastal environments could improve water quality and wildlife habitat and improve management of fish and wildlife populations while making coastal resources and communities more resilient.
“NFWF and state leaders are to be commended for moving forward with plans for recovering from harm to wildlife and wildlife habitats,” said Eric Draper, Audubon Florida's Executive Director.
“It is our hope that investments can be made to help secure the future of pelicans and other coastal birds that help define a healthy Gulf Coast.”