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The Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group is continuing restoration planning efforts to address injuries caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. We would like your input regarding natural resource restoration project ideas to benefit the Birds and Sturgeon restoration types in the Open Ocean Restoration Area.

We target restoration for wide-ranging and migratory species at important points during their life cycles and geographic ranges, including inland, coastal, and offshore areas. Some Open Ocean species are highly migratory; therefore, we anticipate that some restoration may take place outside of the Gulf of Mexico.

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. For our next draft restoration plan, we will only consider projects submitted, updated or revised during the solicitation period, from March 25 through May 10, 2021.

Restoration Type Focus: Birds

We are prioritizing the following restoration approaches:

  • Restore and conserve bird nesting and foraging habitat
  • Establish or re-establish breeding colonies
  • Prevent incidental bird mortality

We are particularly interested in your input on actions that may benefit seabird species injured by the oil spill (see PDARP Chapter 4, Table 4.7-3 (PDF, 685 pages)).

Restoration Type Focus: Sturgeon

We are prioritizing the following restoration approaches:

  • Restore sturgeon spawning habitat
  • Reduce nutrient loads to coastal watersheds
  • Protect and conserve marine, coastal, estuarine and riparian habitats

Project ideas should reference Trustee goals, restoration strategies, benefits to multiple resources, and implementation considerations for the Birds and Sturgeon restoration types. We also recommend that ideas include a description of monitoring activities that may be used to evaluate the benefits of the project.

The Trustees may also develop restoration projects for consideration or modify project ideas to better meet our restoration priorities. We will evaluate all project ideas for their ability to meet the goals of the Trustees’ Programmatic Restoration Plan and the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.

More Information

The Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group will give the public an opportunity to review and provide input on any draft restoration plans, including specific projects proposed for implementation, in accordance with the Oil Pollution Act, National Environmental Policy Act, and the Deepwater Horizon Trustee Council Standard Operating Procedures. After the public comment period ends, we will review, consider, and incorporate public comments, as appropriate, before releasing a final restoration plan.

Trustee Council’s Project Idea Submission Portal

Please contact us at OpenOcean.TIG@noaa.gov if you have any questions. We look forward to considering your restoration project ideas.