The Regionwide Trustee Implementation Group (TIG) is beginning the process of considering restoration activities that will address injuries caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. At this time, we would like your restoration project ideas that benefit living coastal and marine resources that range throughout the Gulf. In our upcoming first restoration plan, a range of projects will be considered to address injuries to the four restoration types listed below:
- Marine mammals.
- Sea turtles.
Since these include highly migratory and wide-ranging species, project ideas may be proposed for implementation across the geographic range of the injured resources. We are also looking for project ideas that have a regional impact.
For additional information on project idea submission, restoration focus areas, and restoration types please click on the “Notice” link below.
Project Idea Submission
We encourage you to submit new restoration ideas or revise previously-submitted ideas through the Trustee Council’s project idea submission portal. Previously-submitted project ideas, including those submitted through individual state portals, that focus on birds, marine mammals, oysters, and sea turtles will be considered.
Projects to be considered in the development of one or more draft restoration plans must be submitted on or before October 25, 2019. All project ideas will be evaluated for their ability to meet the goals of the Trustees’ programmatic restoration plan and the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA). Projects submitted after the deadline may be considered in future restoration planning opportunities.
We are accepting project ideas with an initial focus on the restoration types and approaches presented below. Additional information on these restoration types is available in Chapter 5 of the programmatic restoration plan and the strategic frameworks for birds, marine mammals, oysters, and sea turtles. Project ideas should reference Trustee goals, restoration strategies, and implementation considerations for each of these restoration types.
Project ideas should focus on the specific restoration approaches and activities described below. We will consider projects that incorporate multiple restoration types and/or that will be implemented in a multi-phase approach if accompanying information about the phases is provided. We may also develop our own restoration projects for consideration or modify project proposals to better develop a restoration action.
Restoration Type: Birds
For this restoration plan, we are prioritizing the following restoration approaches and techniques (see the Strategic Framework for Bird Restoration Activities for more information—specific references included below):
- Restore and conserve bird nesting and foraging habitat (Approach 1) by:
- Creating or enhancing coastal habitats (e.g., barrier and coastal islands, headlands, beaches, dunes, back-barrier marsh, or wetlands) through techniques such as vegetation management, placement of sediment or dredged material, restoration of hydrologic connections, and addressing water quality impacts to birds;
- Nesting and foraging area stewardship;
- Acquiring lands for conservation; or
- Developing and implementing management actions in conservation areas.
- Prevent incidental bird mortality (Approach 3) through removal of derelict fishing gear.
(See also Programmatic Restoration Plan Sections 5.5.12, 5.D.6.1, and 5.D.6.3)
Restoration Type: Marine Mammals
For this restoration plan, we are prioritizing the following restoration approaches and techniques (see the Strategic Framework for Marine Mammal Restoration Activities for more information—specific references included below):
- Reduce marine mammal bycatch in commercial fisheries through identification and implementation of conservation measures (Approach 1: Techniques 1 and 2).
- Reduce lethal and harmful impacts to bottlenose dolphins from hook-and-line fishing activities, and related mortalities from retaliation, through development and implementation of conservation measures (Approach 2: Technique 1).
- Reduce injury, harm, and mortality to bottlenose dolphins from illegal feeding activities by effectively changing human behaviors (e.g., outreach, enforcement, social science, etc.) (Approach 5: Technique 1).
- Increase marine mammal survival through better understanding of causes of illness and death, as well as early detection and intervention of anthropogenic and natural threats using one of the following techniques:
- Addressing gaps and enhancing capacity in the current capabilities of the Marine Mammal Stranding Network throughout the GOM to improve timeliness of response and diagnosis of illness and cause of death (Approach 3: Technique 1).
- Developing and increasing the technical and infrastructure capabilities to respond to major stranding events or disasters (Approach 3: Technique 2).
- Developing and implementing a regionwide marine mammal health assessment and conservation medicine program to identify risks for illness and death and mitigate potential impacts (Approach 3: Technique 3).
- Improving the ability of stranding network partners to detect and rescue free-swimming marine mammals that are entangled, entrapped, or out of habitat (Approach 3: Technique 4).
(See also Programmatic Restoration Plan Sections 5.5.11, 5.D.5.1, 5.D.5.2, 5.D.5.3, and 5.D.5.5)
Restoration Type: Oysters
Under the restoration approach to restore oyster reef habitat, we are prioritizing the following restoration techniques (see the Strategic Framework for Oyster Restoration Activities for more information):
- Restore or create oyster reefs through placement of cultch in nearshore and subtidal areas, with a focus on restoring a diversity of oyster reef types in a range of suitable habitats
- Restore oysters in areas where reefs may serve as living shorelines.
- Enhance oyster reef productivity through spawning stock enhancement projects including, but not limited to, planting hatchery raised oysters, relocating wild oysters to restoration sites, oyster gardening programs.
- Develop a network of oyster reef spawning reserves.
(See also Programmatic Restoration Plan Sections 5.5.9 and 5.D.1.3)
Restoration Type: Sea Turtles
For this restoration plan, we are prioritizing the following restoration approaches and techniques (see the Strategic Framework for Sea Turtle Restoration Activities for more information—specific references included below):
- Reduce sea turtle bycatch in commercial fisheries by expanding existing or developing new observer programs and enhancing analytical capacity, and/or evaluating and implementing options for vessel monitoring systems (VMS) and electronic monitoring (Approach 1: Techniques 6 and 7).
- Enhance sea turtle hatchling productivity and restore and conserve nesting beach habitat through land acquisition/conservation easements; reduction of beachfront lighting, nest and nesting beach protection; and/or enhancement of nesting beach restoration and resiliency (Approach 3: Techniques 1, 2, 4, and 5).
- Reduce sea turtle bycatch in pier- and shore-based recreational fisheries by evaluating, developing, and implementing conservation measures (Approach 4: Technique 1).
- Reduce sea turtle bycatch in commercial fisheries through enhanced state enforcement efforts to improve compliance with existing conservation requirements by providing training for and outreach to state enforcement personnel and/or increasing state enforcement resources (Approach 5: Techniques 1 and 2).
- Increase sea turtle survival through enhanced mortality investigation and early detection of and response to anthropogenic threats and emergency events by enhancing the sea turtle stranding and salvage network (STSSN), enhancing rehabilitation capacity, and/or reducing marine debris (Approach 6: Techniques 1, 4, and 6).
(See also Programmatic Restoration Plan Sections 5.5.10, 5.D.4.1, 5.D.4.3, 5.D.4.4, 5.D.4.5, and 5.D.4.6)
This Notice of Opportunity for Public Input of Project Ideas identifies the range of potential restoration activities that we may consider for restoration planning. We intend to plan for restoration actions to benefit all restoration types identified through one or more draft restoration plans. We may choose to focus on a subset of these restoration types as planning progresses.
Projects, restoration types, and restoration techniques not proposed and/or selected for a particular Regionwide TIG restoration plan may be considered in future restoration planning efforts. The selection of Regionwide TIG restoration projects for implementation will not be made until after the public has an opportunity to provide input during the restoration planning process, including the opportunities to submit project ideas and to review and comment on draft restoration plan(s) in accordance with OPA, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the Deepwater Horizon Trustee Council Standard Operating Procedures.
Please contact us at email@example.com if you have any questions. We look forward to considering your restoration project ideas.