Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund in Mississippi
To date, NFWF has awarded nearly $88 million from the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund for 12 projects in the state of Mississippi. These projects were selected after extensive consultation with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The Mississippi projects address high priority conservation needs. They represent important efforts to protect and enhance natural and living resources, as well as significant planning efforts to develop future projects for consideration under the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund.
Click on the project title for more information:
Habitat Restoration and Conservation in Turkey Creek – Phase I (2015)
Oyster Restoration and Management – Phase I (2015)
Design Challenge for Improvement of Water Quality from Beach Outfalls – Phase I (2015)
Habitat Restoration: Federal Lands Program – Phase I (2015)
Utilization of Dredge Material for Marsh Restoration in Coastal Mississippi (2014)
Invasive Species Management on Coastal State Land (2014)
Reef Fish Assessment for Mississippi Coastal and Nearshore Gulf Waters (2014)
Mississippi Coastal Restoration Plan (2014)
Audubon Coastal Bird Stewardship Program in Mississippi (2013)
Mississippi Coastal Preserves Program (2013)
Coastal Streams and Habitat Initiative (2013)
NFWF is engaged in consultation with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, FWS and NOAA to identify priority conservation projects for consideration under the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund. Review of the 2016 cycle proposals is expected to begin in the spring of 2016.
About the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund
NFWF’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund was established in early 2013 as a result of two plea agreements resolving the criminal cases against BP and Transocean after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The agreements direct a total of $2.544 billion to NFWF over a five-year period. The funds are to be used to support projects that remedy harm to natural resources (habitats, species) where there has been injury to, or destruction of, loss of, or loss of use of those resources resulting from the oil spill. Projects are expected to occur within reasonable proximity to where the impacts occurred, as appropriate.
Consistent with the terms of the plea agreements, funding priorities include, but are not limited to, projects that contribute significantly to the following natural resource outcomes:
Restore and maintain the ecological functions of landscape-scale coastal habitats, including barrier islands, beaches and coastal marshes, and ensure their viability and resilience against existing and future threats;
Restore and maintain the ecological integrity of priority coastal bays and estuaries; and
Replenish and protect living resources including oysters, red snapper and other reef fish, Gulf Coast bird populations, sea turtles and marine mammals.
This list was prepared in collaboration with state and federal resource agencies. For a list of potential actions that might be considered to advance these outcomes, please click here.
Learn more about NFWF’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund.
The Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund in Mississippi
Under the allocation formula and other provisions contained in the plea agreements, $356 million of the total amount to be deposited into the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund will be for project expenditures in the state of Mississippi (funded over a five-year period).
Mississippi has engaged in vigorous public engagement constructing multiple opportunities for stakeholder involvement throughout the process. The state supports consideration of science-based projects and community-driven solutions that protect and restore its natural heritage.
To learn more about Mississippi’s process for identifying priority Gulf Coast restoration projects, visit: www.restore.ms