Texas Trustee Implementation Group Calls for Restoration Project Proposals


The Texas Trustee Implementation Group (TIG) is preparing for the next phase of restoration planning, which will ultimately result in the release of a draft restoration plan and associated National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents for public review and comment in the spring of 2017. In the meantime, the Texas TIG is calling for new or revised restoration proposals by August 31, 2016.

Approximately $47.6 million is currently available for restoration project funding in Texas this year. In addition, over the next 15 years, the Texas TIG will receive approximately $124.8 million in additional restoration funding. The current restoration planning effort may utilize all or part of these fundsThe Texas TIG may propose both discrete restoration projects as well as one or more programmatic restoration efforts. Each of the projects and programmatic efforts may require multiple years to complete and they may be funded in part by restoration funds received in the future.

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Restoration funds allocated to the Texas TIG must be used for five specific restoration types. Deepwater Horizon Early Restoration projects that are already being funded, the Texas Rookery Islands Project and the Sea Turtle Early Restoration Project, fall under two of the restoration types identified for TexasTherefore, the Texas TIG is prioritizing current restoration planning efforts on restoration types that were not addressed previously by Early Restoration: 1) restore and conserve wetland, coastal, and nearshore habitats; 2) restore water quality through nutrient reduction (nonpoint source); and 3) replenish and protect oystersThe Texas TIG will also consider projects for engineering and design that focus on the three restoration types mentioned above.  Despite the focus on these restoration categories, the Texas TIG will continue to consider any important opportunities for additional restoration and protection of avian resources and sea turtles.  In developing a Restoration Plan, the Texas TIG will consider projects already proposed, those proposed in response to this request, and those that come to the attention of the Trustees through other means prior to August 31, 2016.  The Texas TIG may also develop restoration projects for consideration.

The Trustees have accepted project proposals on a continuous basis throughout the process of Early Restoration. The Texas TIG will continue to consider projects already submitted through the NOAA Gulf Spill Restoration website or Restore the Texas CoastYou may revise or update a previously submitted project, or you may submit a new project idea through one of the websites below. These suggested projects will be retained as part of a database that will be evaluated by the Texas TIG, with public input, for consideration in project-specific restoration plans.

Restore the Texas Coast Website:                                                

To make a new submission: https://www.restorethetexascoast.org/

NOAA Gulf Spill Restoration Website:

To make a new submission: http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/restoration/give-us-your-ideas/suggest-a-restoration-project/

To view previously submitted projects: http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/restoration/give-us-your-ideas/view-submitted-projects/

Please submit your proposal by August 31, 2016 in order to be considered by the Texas TIG for the draft restoration plan expected to be released in spring 2017. If you have any questions or need further assistance, please contact us at TXDWHNRDA@tpwd.texas.gov.

Additional Background:

A federal district court in New Orleans entered a consent decree resolving civil claims against BP arising from the April 20, 2010 Macondo well blowout and the massive oil spill that followed in the Gulf of Mexico.

Under this settlement, BP has agreed to pay the Trustees for Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment up to $8.8 billion for restoration to address natural resource injuries. The chart and table below show the restoration funding allocated to the Texas Restoration Area for each restoration goal. Note that some restoration categories have been fully addressed in Early Restoration; the remaining restoration funds will be allocated over the next 15 years. For more information on the allocation of funds, please visit the Department of Justice Deepwater Horizon page.

The Trustees finalized the Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement in February 2016. The plan identifies the types of restoration needed to compensate the public for impacts to natural resources that resulted from the oil spill. Restoration plan and impact statement documents, including the record of decision, can be found at: http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/restoration-planning/gulf-plan/.

To manage restoration activities identified as part of the settlement, a Trustee Implementation Group (TIG) was assigned for each of seven restoration areas (restoration in each of the five Gulf States, the Open Ocean, and Region-wide). The Texas TIG includes representatives of each state Natural Resource Trustee agency, including the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and the Texas General Land Office along with our federal partners, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Posted July 6, 2016.