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Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Five Years Later...

The Trustees have selected and approved the latest round of Deepwater Horizon early restoration projects. The restoration plan includes 10 projects totaling an estimated $134 million.

The Phase IV Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessments are consistent with the Trustees’ strategic plan for early restoration activities. We received 2,600 public comments that were considered in developing the final plan.

The approved projects will benefit sea turtles, birds, and fish; increase recreational opportunities; and improve nearshore and reef habitats. Out of the $134 million, about $126 million (94% of the total) will be devoted to ecological projects. About $8 million (6% of the total) will be devoted to projects that address lost recreational use.

The projects are:

Early restoration allows us to jump-start restoration using up to $1 billion BP has agreed to make available for early restoration. With these four phases,roughly $832 million of the $1 billion has been obligated.

Projects that Involve the Texas Trustees

Two projects involving the Texas trustees are in the latest round (Phase IV) of early restoration to address impacts from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (Spill). These include a $45 million sea turtle early restoration project for work in Texas, Mexico, and elsewhere along the Gulf of Mexico; and an approximately $21 million Texas rookery islands restoration project.

Sea Turtle Early Restoration

The Sea Turtle Early Restoration Project will help restore sea turtles by addressing threats on their nesting beaches and in the marine environment. The three species that will be addressed by this project — Kemp's ridley, green and loggerhead sea turtles — are protected by the Endangered Species Act. This project will be implemented by the Department of the Interior (DOI), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Texas Trustees over a 10-year period. The Texas Trustees will be involved in implementing the following elements of the Sea Turtle Early Restoration Project:

Sea Turtle project overview | Detailed fact sheet

Texas Rookery Islands

The Texas Rookery Islands project will restore and protect three rookery islands in Galveston Bay (Dickinson Bay Island II, located within Dickinson Bay; Rollover Bay Island, located in East Galveston Bay; and Smith Point Island, located west of the Smith Point peninsula) and one rookery island in East Matagorda Bay (Dressing Point Island, part of the Big Boggy National Wildlife Refuge). The intent of the project is to increase the numbers of nesting colonial waterbirds by restoring and protecting rookery islands in Galveston and East Matagorda Bays.

Rookery Islands project overview | Detailed fact sheet

The two Phase IV projects involving the Texas Trustees follow five earlier Texas-based projects approved as part of Phase III early restoration. Those five projects, including three artificial reef and two state park projects, total about $18 million, and will help compensate Texas for lost human use of natural resources resulting from the Spill. More information about the first three phases of early restoration can be found at

Early restoration is not intended to provide the full extent of restoration needed to satisfy the Trustees’ claims against BP. The Spill injury assessment and restoration planning will continue until the public is fully compensated for the natural resources and services that were lost as a result of the Spill.

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