The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) has announced the award of more than $101.5 million from its Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (GEBF) to 19 projects and several amendments to previously announced projects in the states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
The projects, developed in consultation with state and federal resource agencies, are designed to remedy harm and reduce the risk of future harm to natural resources that were affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
“The awards we announce today represent our fifth round of obligations from the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, and include important investments to protect and restore species and habitats impacted by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF.
“Investments made under the GEBF continue to protect and enhance critical coastal habitats, while bolstering populations of Gulf Coast birds, marine mammals and sea turtles, and other fish and wildlife species affected by the oil spill.”
These GEBF projects will complement those previously announced or currently under consideration by the Natural Resource Damage Assessment and RESTORE Act programs.
The NFWF Board of Directors approved the award of more than $39.3 million for three new projects and an amendment to one existing project in the state of Mississippi.
The Mississippi projects address high-priority conservation needs, including Phase II for both the beneficial use of dredge material and reef fish assessment projects, acquisition of important priority habitats in the lower Pascagoula River, and restoration planning.
The total number of awards from the GEBF in the state of Mississippi now stands at 18, with a total value of nearly $140 million.
All projects were selected for funding following extensive consultation with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, FWS and NOAA.