$33 Million for Seabird Restoration Approved in Third Open Ocean Restoration Plan

Common tern (Photo: Bob Houston, U.S. FWS)

The Deepwater Horizon Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group released the Final Open Ocean Restoration Plan 3 (PDF, 335 pages) selecting seven projects totaling almost $33 million to help restore seabirds injured by the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. These projects are scheduled to begin implementation within the next year. 

The plan and its projects represent the largest commitment to date of Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment funds for restoring injured seabird species, and includes restoration actions in Canada, the northeastern United States, and the Caribbean. The selected projects will: 

  • Enhance seabird nesting success by managing predators and invasive mammals. 
  • Improve nesting habitat by managing vegetation and removing marine debris. 
  • Enhance nesting colonies by attracting seabirds to suitable nesting areas. 
  • Manage human disturbance and prevent reintroduction of invasive species. 
  • Develop voluntary, innovative strategies for commercial fishermen to reduce seabird bycatch. 

A draft of the plan was released in March for a 45-day public comment period during which we received over 13,000 comments. The plan received many thoughtful comments and overwhelming support, particularly with respect to restoration planning beyond political boundaries. A summary of changes made based on public comments is provided in Chapter 1, and the Trustees’ responses to comments received are provided in Chapter 6.  

Materials from the final plan, including public comments, can be found in the Deepwater Horizon Administrative Record

Final Plan Documents 

Final Project Fact Sheets 

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