The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has announced grants totaling more than $71 million in support of thirteen new and three amended coastal restoration projects in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, and Texas.
Grants were awarded through the organization's Gulf Environment Benefit Fund, which was created in 2013 under the terms of plea agreements between the U.S. Department of Justice and BP and Transocean for the purposes of directing $2.54 billion to restoration projects in Gulf states impacted by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. To date, NFWF has awarded more than $1.5 billion through the program, which supports projects developed in consultation with state and federal resource agencies as well as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The eighth round of grants awarded through the program includes $26 million in support of projects in Alabama dedicated to beach and dune restoration, as well as watershed and stream stabilization efforts benefiting coastal wetland habitats, and $20 million for projects in Florida aimed at accelerating the recovery of shorebird and seabird populations and protecting significant coastal habitat, as well as construction of a new marine mammal pathobiology facility.
In Mississippi, grants totaling $5 million were awarded in support of the creation or restoration of habitat for migratory shorebird and waterfowl species and to enhance recreational fish data collection methods, while in Texas grants totaling $20 million were awarded in support of wetland restoration and shoreline protection projects, the protection of rookery islands, and the acquisition of a conservation easement for thousands of acres of priority coastal habitat.
"Since the creation of the GEBF in 2013, its investments have supported significant protection and restoration projects that provide long-term benefit to coastal natural resources," said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. "The awards announced today represent the continued effort of the GEBF to provide on-the-ground support to preserve, restore, and enhance important habitats along the Gulf Coast for the benefit of fish and wildlife populations injured during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill."
For a complete list of funded projects, see the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation website.