|  TPWD News Release 20160706a                                            |
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[ Note: This item is more than three years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Tom Harvey, (512) 389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov ]
July 6, 2016
Texas Natural Resource Trustees Call for Gulf Restoration Project Proposals
Agencies Starting to Plan Use of Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Settlement Dollars
AUSTIN - Government trustees planning the next phase of Texas restoration following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill are calling for new or revised restoration proposals by Aug. 31. Coming next spring, the trustees will release a draft restoration plan containing proposed Texas restoration projects and associated National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents for public review and comment.
This past spring, a federal judge 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, approximately $47.6 million is available for restoration project funding in Texas this year. Also, over the next 15 years, Texas will receive approximately $124.8 million in additional restoration funding.
Under the consent decree, the Texas restoration process is being led by a Texas trustee Implementation Group (TIG) made up of three state agencies, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas General Land Office, and Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, plus federal partners that include the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Agriculture, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Department of the Interior.
Restoration funds allocated to Texas must be used for five specific restoration types. Early Restoration projects already underway, including the Texas Rookery Islands Project and the Sea Turtle Early Restoration Project, fall under two of the restoration types identified for Texas. Therefore, the Texas TIG is prioritizing current restoration planning efforts on three other restoration types: 1) restore and conserve wetland, coastal, and nearshore habitats; 2) restore water quality through nutrient reduction (nonpoint source); and 3) replenish and protect oysters. Projects for engineering and design that focus on these three restoration types will also be considered.
Despite a focus on the three restoration categories, the Texas TIG will continue to consider any important opportunities for additional restoration and protection of avian resources and sea turtles. In developing a Restoration Plan, the Texas TIG will consider projects already proposed, projects proposed in response to this year's request, and projects that come to the attention of the Trustees through other means before Aug. 31. The Texas TIG may also develop restoration projects for consideration.
The trustees have accepted public project proposals on a continuous basis throughout the process of Early Restoration. The Texas TIG will continue to consider projects already submitted. Anyone may revise or update a previously submitted project, or may submit a new project idea through one of the websites below. These suggested projects will be retained as part of a database that will be evaluated by the Texas TIG, with public input, for consideration in future project-specific restoration plans.
Interested parties can propose new projects through the Restore the Texas Coast website or the NOAA Gulf Spill Restoration website. Anyone can also view previously submitted projects on the Gulf Spill Restoration website. Anyone who has questions or needs assistance may contact the Texas trustees at TXDWHNRDA@tpwd.texas.gov.