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Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Five Years Later...

For the past 5 years, the Deepwater Horizon natural resource trustees have been working to assess the impacts of the oil and dispersants on natural resources such as wetlands, fish, marine mammals, and birds as well as the services they provide, through the natural resource damage assessment process.

The Trustees are proposing a damage assessment and programmatic restoration plan for the Gulf of Mexico. The draft plan is based on an assessment of impacts to the Gulf’s natural resources and the services they provide following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The plan also provides guidance for identifying, evaluating, and selecting future restoration projects.

The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Draft Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan (PDARP) and Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) is posted online and will be available at public meetings along the Gulf, including one in Texas (November 10, 2015 in Galveston). In addition to verbal comments provided at public meetings, the public may submit written comments through December 4, 2015.

The draft plan allocates funds from a proposed settlement with BP of up to $8.8 billion for natural resource injuries stemming from the spill, including $238 million that would be allocated for Texas restoration efforts. The Trustees have proposed to accept this settlement, which would resolve BP’s liability for natural resource injuries stemming from the spill.

The draft plan identifies five goals intended to restore wildlife, habitat, water quality, and recreational activities in the Gulf. To achieve these goals, funds are allocated to 13 different restoration types. The restoration types address a broad range of impacts at both regional and local scales. The implementation of this plan will restore wildlife and habitat and associated services such as recreational opportunities that were impacted by the Spill. The figure below identifies the 5 restoration goals and 13 restoration types.

The draft plan does not identify specific projects for each restoration type, but lays out a framework by which future project-specific restoration plans will be developed. The public will have the opportunity to comment on these subsequent restoration plans.

Chart showing how restoration types relates to overall goals

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