Trustees Announce $1 Billion for Restoration Projects in Gulf of Mexico

Marshes in Louisiana could be restored.

Coastal marshes, like these in Louisiana, could be restored with this funding.

Under an unprecedented agreement, BP has agreed to provide $1 billion toward early restoration projects in the Gulf of Mexico. This is the largest agreement of its kind ever reached. These projects will begin to address impacts to natural resources caused by the Deepwater BP oil spill.

Early restoration is restoration that can be implemented prior to the completion of the natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) process to achieve restoration faster. So, this agreement can be seen as BP’s down payment toward the yet-to-be determined full cost of the damage to the Gulf Coast.

The agreement does not affect the ultimate liability from the spill for BP (and the other responsible parties) but provides an opportunity to help restoration get started sooner. This money will put people to work restoring the Gulf without having to wait for the results of the NRDA and pending litigation.

Restoration also will address the lost use of natural resources by the people living, working, and visiting the area. Project selection will follow a transparent process, overseen by the trustees.

Types of restoration that could be funded include:

  • rebuilding of coastal marshes,
  • replenishment of damaged beaches,
  • conservation of sensitive areas for ocean habitat for impacted wildlife, and
  • restoration of barrier islands and wetlands that provide natural protection from storms.

BP will continue to fund the NRDA and, together with the other responsible parties, ultimately will compensate the public for all the impacts from the spill.

Learn more in this press release issued by the trustees or read the full text of the agreement (pdf). You can also read the allocation agreement to see how the funds will be distributed to each of the trustees.