Important Contacts for Deepwater Horizon:
  • Texas media inquiries: Julie Hagen, (512) 389-4620
  • Texas Trustee inquiries email

 

 

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

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October 9, 2020

2020 Texas TIG Annual Public Meeting Notice

Texas Trustee Implementation Group Annual Public Meeting

The Texas Trustee Implementation Group for the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill (Texas TIG) will hold its 2020 annual public meeting on November 4, 2020 via an online video presentation. The presentation will include updates on the Texas TIG’s current restoration planning efforts and several ongoing restoration projects and will describe future planning efforts.

The video presentation may be viewed at any time on November 4, 2020 from 12:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. and can be viewed an unlimited number of times. The public will have the opportunity to provide comments related to the presentation topics during the same date and times through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s public comment portal under the heading “Texas TIG Annual Meeting Video Presentation.”

Texas TIG Annual Public Meeting
Date: November 4, 2020
Time: 12 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. CST

Please view the video under the “Texas TIG Annual Meeting Video Presentation” heading. If you need special assistance, including language assistance, please contact TXDWHNRDA@tpwd.texas.gov by October 28, 2020.

A PDF of the presentation will be posted on the Trustees’ Texas Restoration Area page on November 6, 2020.


October 1, 2020

Submit your Ideas for Texas Restoration Area Planning

The Texas Trustee Implementation Group (TIG) is beginning the process of considering restoration activities that will address injuries caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. At this time, we would like your restoration project ideas that benefit wetland, coastal, and nearshore habitats; living coastal and marine resources; and restore water quality through nutrient reduction (nonpoint source) in the Texas Restoration Area. In our next restoration plan, a range of projects will be considered to address injuries to the restoration types listed below:

Additional information on these restoration types is available in Chapter 5 of the programmatic restoration plan and the strategic frameworks for birds, oysters, and sea turtles.

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. We will only consider projects submitted or updated during the solicitation period, from October 1, 2020 through December 10, 2020, for our next draft restoration plan. 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.

Restoration Focus

We are accepting project ideas with a focus on the restoration types, approaches, and techniques presented below. Project ideas should reference Trustee goals, restoration strategies, and implementation considerations for each of the restoration types. We will consider projects that incorporate multiple restoration types and/or use a multi-phase implementation approach, if information about the phases is provided. We may also develop our own restoration projects for consideration or modify project proposals to better develop a restoration action. We also recommend that project proponents include information on how the project could be monitored and quantifiably measured to determine what benefits would be achieved.

Restoration Type: Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats

For this restoration plan, we are prioritizing the restoration approaches:

Despite the focus on these restoration approaches, the Texas TIG will continue to consider any important opportunities to protect and conserve marine, coastal, estuarine, and riparian habitats. We are also prioritizing restoration project proposals that will be ready for construction within 12-18 months of your submission for which engineering and design is already in progress and should be completed in the next 6-12 months.

Restoration Type: Nutrient reduction (nonpoint source)

For this restoration plan, we are prioritizing the restoration approach:

The Texas TIG will consider opportunities to reduce nutrient nonpoint source loads to coastal watersheds. A variety of conservation practices could be implemented to reduce nutrient concentrations and sediments along the Gulf Coast. The Texas TIG may select projects for implementation which expand or complement efforts already in place. To address the implementation considerations of the PDARP (PDARP D.2.1.1), the Texas TIG released the Texas Coastal Waters: Nutrient Strategies Report in 2019, which established watershed selection and prioritization criteria to inform site and project selection prior to implementing restoration techniques. The Texas TIG will prioritize project ideas located in the Tier 1 and Tier 2 Hydrologic Unit Codes (Petronila and San Fernando creeks watersheds) that apply strategies identified in the Nutrient Reduction Strategies Report.

Project ideas should include measurable in-stream or downstream nutrient reduction outcomes that is quantifiable and included suggested monitoring methodology.

Restoration Type: Oysters

For this restoration plan, we are prioritizing the following restoration approaches and techniques (see the Strategic Framework for Oyster Restoration Activities for more information):

The Texas TIG may select projects for implementation which expand or complement efforts already in place. Landscape scale restoration will be prioritized to include both nearshore and subtidal areas to help ensure the recovery of the ecological processes and conditions required for both oysters and associated fish and invertebrates. Projects should be designed using a network approach to enhance the regional larval pool and maintain oyster populations over a large area, and to increase the likelihood of successful oyster recruitment during periods of adverse conditions.

Restoration Type: Sea Turtles

For this restoration plan, we are prioritizing the following restoration approaches and techniques (see the Strategic Framework for Sea Turtle Restoration Activities for more information – specific references included below):

Restoration Type: Birds

For this restoration plan, we are prioritizing the following restoration approaches and techniques (see the Strategic Framework for Bird Restoration Activities for more information):

More Information

Projects, restoration types, and restoration techniques not proposed and/or selected for a particular Texas TIG restoration plan, may be considered in future restoration planning efforts. The selection of Texas TIG restoration projects for implementation will not be made until after the public has an opportunity to provide input during the restoration planning process, including the opportunities to submit project ideas and to review and comment on draft restoration plan(s) in accordance with Oil Pollution Act, National Environmental Policy Act, and the Deepwater Horizon Trustee Council Standard Operating Procedures.

Restore the Texas Coast Website: Make a new submission.

Trustee Council’s project idea submission portal: Make a new submission. View previously submitted projects.

Please email us if you have any questions. We look forward to considering your restoration project ideas.


April 20, 2020

Deepwater Horizon Natural Damage Assessment Trustee Council issues 10-year statement

Today marks ten years since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill occurred. The rig explosion led to the largest marine oil spill in American history and caused the loss of 11 men and injury to 17 others. For months, millions of barrels of oil flowed into the Gulf of Mexico. Many coastal communities were severely impacted. In these trying times, we recognize the human cost of the oil spill, and continue to extend our deepest condolences to those whose loved ones were lost or otherwise injured.

On this day, we, the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees, want to provide an update on our efforts over the past decade to restore natural resources across the Gulf of Mexico. From ensuring our restoration efforts benefit multiple resources of the ecosystem to leveraging funds for maximum efficiencies, we are utilizing settlement funds to address the injuries to the Gulf of Mexico and its coastal areas.

Immediately after the spill, we worked around the clock to assess the damages to the Gulf’s natural resources. During that assessment we began developing ideas for restoration projects that would address, not only the injuries, but also the loss of “services” the natural resources provide, such as recreational use. In addition, the extent and magnitude of the injuries led us to understand that rather than focusing on discrete projects, we needed to approach restoration from an ecosystem perspective.

We also recognized the need for monitoring and adaptive management of our restoration activities. Taking action in the immediate term was vital to setting the Gulf on the path to recovery. And, because this will be a long-term process, monitoring and adaptive management will allow us to adjust our approach to achieve the most effective results.

To accelerate the recovery of the ecosystem, BP agreed to provide up to $1 billion for early restoration activities beginning in April 2011. With those early restoration funds, we immediately got to work and ultimately approved 65 projects with a combined cost of approximately $875 million. Examples include $320 million for four barrier island projects on Louisiana’s coast, as well as marsh creation projects in Barataria Basin, which was the area most heavily impacted by the spill. Additionally, a multi-state $45 million project is benefiting sea turtles by enhancing nest protection and stranding response, and engaging the shrimp fishing industry to reduce sea turtle bycatch and understand why and when it’s occurring.

In 2016, the historic BP settlement required the company to pay up to $8.8 billion, including the early restoration funds, over 15 years – the largest ever for natural resource injuries. At that time, in addition to our work on early restoration projects, we transitioned to a full-scale restoration effort.

Our Work to Restore the Gulf of Mexico

Our post-settlement work is organized and conducted as Trustee Implementation Groups where Trustees work together to propose and implement restoration projects within their respective restoration areas. These groups bring in partners and funding from other sources, when possible, to enhance restoration projects’ scope and effectiveness. In the ten years since the spill, approximately 200 projects have been approved to restore injured Gulf resources. The combined estimated cost of these projects is $1.4 billion.

In the first decade since the spill, we have made significant progress restoring resources, such as recreational use, water quality, living coastal and marine resources, and wetlands, coastal, and nearshore habitats. These restoration types are described in detail in our programmatic restoration plan.

These efforts build upon our ecosystem approach to restoring the Gulf. For example, many of our projects are designed to benefit multiple restoration types. Projects that restore coastal marshes may also benefit wildlife, improve water quality, and enhance recreational opportunities. Additionally, a beach project that enhances recreational access to beaches may also educate visitors about the local birds and their nests.

We are also restoring resources in multiple locations across the Gulf. For example, we have oyster reef projects in the waters off each of the five Gulf States. We are restoring habitats for migratory birds and sea turtles in multiple locations from barrier islands to the beaches that line the Gulf Coast. We have restoration projects for wetlands, coastal, and nearshore habitats and for improving water quality across the Gulf. And, we're continuing restoration of resources and habitats offshore in the Gulf, including new projects for marine mammals, deep-sea habitats, fish, and sea turtles.

To make the most of these efforts, we work hard to leverage funding from other sources and strive to engage other restoration partners. For example, the McFaddin Beach and Dune Restoration in eastern Texas funded by Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA), the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, RESTORE, the state, and the county. In addition, there are several projects intended to restore an adjacent salt marsh project funded by the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund. This collaboration has increased the restoration footprint and reaps far greater environmental benefits.

Through coordination across funding sources, we are leveraging resources and will be able to accomplish more than would be possible with NRDA settlement funds alone.

As restoration planning has progressed through the years, the Trustees have developed guidance documents to act as roadmaps. Examples include the strategic frameworks for birds, marine mammals, oysters, and sea turtles as well as guidance for monitoring and adaptive management.

Looking Ahead

We are committed to restoring the natural resources of the Gulf of Mexico for years to come. We will strive to maintain our rapid rate of progress and number of workers on the job, even as we focus additional attention on safe practices in light of the current public health situation. As we implement restoration projects, it is imperative that we manage them well and monitor their success. This monitoring and adaptive management evaluates the success of current projects and adapts them, as needed, to ensure that we maximize resource restoration. We can also use our monitoring information for future projects to improve their results.

Restoration does not happen overnight, but through careful design, successful implementation, and robust monitoring, we are confident that the wetlands, coastal, and nearshore habitats, water quality, living coastal and marine resources, and recreational use will be restored. Stay informed on our restoration efforts, including the annual progress and financial reports to be released in June by visiting our website at www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov.


December 17, 2019

Information from Annual Public Meeting

Thank you to all who viewed the Texas TIG Annual Meeting Video Presentation. Below is a link to the presentation PDF file.

Presentation (PDF)


November 12, 2019

Texas Trustee Implementation Group (TIG) To Provide Project Updates Online Dec. 4

The Texas TIG will present a restoration update, including project updates, and offer the public an opportunity to submit comments online Dec. 4.

The video presentation will include the basics of the Natural Resources Damage Assessment process followed by information describing future opportunities for public engagement in restoration activities. The TIG will also highlight a few restoration projects already underway. The public is invited to view the video presentation and provide feedback to the TIG through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s public comment portal under the title “Texas TIG Annual Meeting Video Presentation” from 12 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. Dec. 4.

For more information about ongoing restoration efforts in Texas, or to view an archived version of the presentation, which will be posted on December 5, visit https://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/restoration-areas/texas.


October 26, 2018

Information from Annual Public Meeting

Thanks to all who attended this month's meeting of the Texas Trusteee Implementation Group. Materials available from the meeting include:


September 24, 2018

Texas Trustee Implementation Group to Hold Annual Public Meeting

Date: October 15, 2018
Time: Open House – 6:00 to 6:30 p.m.
Meeting – 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.
Location: Texas A&M University, Classroom Lab Building (CLB) Auditorium
200 Seawolf Parkway
Galveston, Texas 77553
Parking in lots M200 and M201 - see parking map

At its annual public meeting, the Texas Trustee Implementation Group will provide an update on the work we have accomplished since the historic settlement with BP. We'll also highlight a few of our ongoing restoration projects and talk about our plans for future efforts.

In addition, you can attend a pre-meeting open house. The open house is meant to give you time to speak with agency staff who are responsible for planning and implementing restoration projects for the natural resources injured by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. 

The meeting will open with a brief presentation about the basics of the Natural Resources Damage Assessment process, then we’ll describe future opportunities for public engagement in our restoration activities. Finally, we will present our progress and highlight a few of our projects already underway. We encourage you to attend and give us your feedback.

All meeting presentations will be posted on our website after the meeting. If you need special assistance, please contact Nanciann Regalado at nanciann_regalado@fws.gov by October 5, 2018.


October 18, 2017

Texas Trustees Release Restoration Plan for Texas Gulf Coast

Sea Rim Marsh

Salt Marsh at Sea Rim

The Texas Trustee Implementation Group (TIG) has released its first restoration plan, selecting 13 restoration projects to compensate for injuries to natural resources caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Texas Trustee Implementation Group Final 2017 Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment: Restoration of Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats; and Oysters, was published on October 18 and prioritizes restoration projects for oysters and wetlands, coastal, and nearshore habitats with a total estimated cost of $45,761,000. The 13 selected projects are:

Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitat restoration type

Oyster restoration type

The Texas TIG began this restoration planning effort by requesting project ideas from the public, governmental agencies, and stakeholders in June 2016. The Trustees considered more than 800 projects and proposed 13 preferred projects in the draft restoration plan published in May 2017. The draft restoration plan was made available for public review and comment, and public meetings were held in the Galveston and Corpus Christi areas in early June 2017. The comment period closed on June 19th. The final restoration plan reflects revisions to the draft plan resulting from public comments and continuing project development by the Texas TIG. In light of the recent impacts to the coast by Hurricane Harvey, the Trustees re-evaluated the proposed preferred project sites and determined that coastal conditions did not change the suite of projects selected in this restoration plan.

In April 2016, a federal district court in New Orleans entered a consent decree resolving civil claims against BP arising from the April 20, 2010 Macondo well blowout and the massive oil spill that followed in the Gulf of Mexico. Under this settlement, BP agreed to pay the Trustees for Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment up to $8.8 billion for restoration over 15 years to address natural resource injuries. This includes $238 million towards Texas restoration efforts. This is Texas’ first restoration plan utilizing these funds.

For more information about ongoing restoration efforts in Texas or to view this restoration plan, please visit: www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/restoration-areas/texas.


May 18, 2017

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Texas Trustees Propose New Restoration Plan for Texas Gulf Coast

Public Comment Sought on Draft Restoration Plan, Public Meetings Set for June in Galveston and Corpus Christi

Sunrise on Texas coastal dunes

The Texas Trustee Implementation Group (TIG) is working to restore the Texas coast along the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and is seeking public comment on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Texas Trustee Implementation Group Draft 2017 Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment: Restoration of Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats; and Oysters. The draft plan, published May 18, 2017, proposes a suite of restoration projects to compensate for injuries to natural resources caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Texas TIG reviewed more than 800 restoration projects suggested by the public, state and federal agencies, and other various stakeholders. Of these projects, the Texas TIG proposes 13 preferred projects in the draft restoration plan and environmental assessment.

The natural resource damage assessment funds allocated to the Texas Restoration Area— with more than $175 million remaining in unallocated funds — are to be used to restore and conserve wetlands, coastal, and nearshore habitats, restore water quality through nutrient reduction, as well as replenish and protect sea turtles, birds, and oysters. For this draft plan, the Texas TIG prioritized restoration projects for wetlands, coastal, and nearshore habitats and oysters.

In identifying projects to include in the draft plan, the Texas TIG considered multiple factors including:

The draft plan is available for public review and comment through June 19, 2017. The plan will be available at public meetings in Galveston and Corpus Christi. All public meetings will begin with an interactive open house where the public can ask questions and learn details of proposed projects. The open house will be followed by a formal presentation and opportunity for the public to provide comments on the draft plan.