Gulf Oil Spill Restoration Projects Announced
"The best way to offset the impacts of the disaster is to implement projects that improve water quality, repair damaged wildlife habitats, and restore the Gulf’s estuaries—the nursery grounds for fish and shellfish."
Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and the Natural Resource Trustees for the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster have announced all of the Phase Three projects from the early restoration agreement with BP and have released a comprehensive Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS).
David White of the National Wildlife Federation said in response:
"The unprecedented billion-dollar early restoration agreement was originally announced one year after the Deepwater Horizon exploded and was seen as a way to get started on fixing the damage caused by the disaster while the scientific and legal assessments were being completed.
"We appreciate the enormous task undertaken by the Trustees to develop this suite of restoration projects, along with a comprehensive environmental evaluation describing how these projects were chosen, how they will help restore Gulf ecosystems, and how they will begin to address the loss of human use of those resources. Several projects on today’s list will make a significant difference for the health of the Gulf of Mexico, such as those that rebuild barrier islands and restore oyster reefs."
"Moving forward, we hope the Trustees will develop a more comprehensive planning process that will prioritize projects that improve the health of the Gulf of Mexico and create a more transparent public input process for selecting projects. The best way to offset the impacts of the disaster is to implement projects that improve water quality, repair damaged wildlife habitats, and restore the Gulf’s estuaries—the nursery grounds for fish and shellfish.
"The natural resources of the Gulf are the foundation of the entire Gulf Coast economy. Restoring the Gulf’s ecosystems will result in more beautiful beaches, more sustainable fisheries, and more visitors from around the world."