Trustees Release First Comprehensive Review of Restoration Progress

The Trustees have committed to periodically re-examining the restoration program through programmatic reviews.

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustee Council has released the 2021 Programmatic Review (PDF, 97 pages) of its Gulf restoration work. The Trustees have committed to periodically re-examining the restoration program through programmatic reviews. This is the first of these efforts, and includes data collected from their work through 2020.

Written for a broad audience, the document, and complementary story map (an interactive web-based summary), are the products of an in-depth review of the Trustees’ progress restoring natural resources injured by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Programmatic Review also covers the performance of administrative programs and processes, such as the Trustees’ governance structure, financial management, public engagement, and regulatory compliance. These management efforts are helping to achieve restoration goals collaboratively, in an efficient and effective manner, with transparency and public accountability.

Programmatic Review Highlights

Through 2020, the Trustees received approximately $2.8 billion in funding and committed approximately $2.4 billion of those funds to the planning and implementation of more than 200 projects and activities. The programmatic review evaluates progress made for each restoration type, which are defined by the Trustees’ Programmatic Restoration Plan.

Funding commitments were largest for the restoration types of Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats ($1.3 billion); and Provide and Enhance Recreational Opportunities ($389 million), which were two of the 13 restoration types most injured by the oil spill.

Other key findings include:

  • 3,870 acres of oyster habitat enhanced or restored
  • 2,350 acres of marsh, beach and dune habitats created, restored, or enhanced
  • 3,080 acres of habitat protected and 2,120 acres restored for bird breeding and foraging
  • 74 projects implemented for recreation
  • 25 projects to improve water quality and reduce nutrients
  • 12 projects implemented for sea turtles

The programmatic review also provides updates for each of the restoration areas described in the Trustees’ Programmatic Restoration Plan: Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Open Ocean, and Regionwide. For each area, the programmatic review notes the funds committed through 2020, the number of restoration projects, and achievements made. Select project highlights are included in each of the seven restoration areas.

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