NOAA and other federal and state Trustees working to restore the Gulf of Mexico, continue making progress since the historic settlement to recover damages from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
2017 shaped up to be a success, with the Trustees holding more than a dozen public meetings, workshops and webinars, completing four restoration plans and making progress on drafting many more.
Aside from restoration planning, implementation of projects continued, including:
- Building three new barrier islands in Louisiana
- Restoring dunes and beaches in Florida and Alabama.
- Installing nesting sea-turtle friendly lighting in Florida and Alabama.
- Restoring oceanic fish and sea turtles throughout the Gulf.
Another host of projects, approved as early restoration activities prior to the 2016 settlement, were completed:
- Chenier Ronquille Barrier Island was restored in Louisiana and diamondback terrapins were released there to help support the species’ recovery.
- 62,000 cubic yards of oyster cultch was placed over approximately 300 acres in three Florida panhandle bays.
- Three new artificial reef sites were built in Texas, including sinking the cargo vessel Kraken as part of the state’s ship-to-reef program.
The Trustees also developed strategic frameworks to help guide restoration of oysters, sea turtles, birds and marine mammals, and promote increased collaboration across the Gulf. And, innovative guidelines were released to ensure monitoring of projects is adaptive and will help fine tune activities over time.
Finally, as part of a commitment to transparency, data on all of the Deepwater Horizon Trustees’ planning, projects and other activities, including financial information, is available for those who want a deep dive into restoration progress.