Since November 2013, after extensive consultation with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the Texas General Land Office, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NFWF has awarded $8.8 million from the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund for five projects in the state of Texas.
The Texas projects address high priority conservation needs. They represent important efforts to protect and enhance natural and living resources along the vast Texas coast.
Click on the project title for more information:
Sea Rim State Park Coastal Dune Restoration
Galveston Island State Park Marsh Restoration & Protection
West Galveston Bay Conservation Corridor Habitat Preservation
Oyster Reef Restoration in East Bay
Gulf Coast Migratory Waterfowl Habitat Enhancement
NFWF is engaged in consultation with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas General Land Office, FWS and NOAA to identify priority conservation projects for consideration under the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund. Final approval of future projects is anticipated in late 2014.
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. These 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, such as sea level rise;
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 Texas
Under the allocation formula and other provisions contained in the plea agreements, the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund will receive $203 million over a five-year period for project expenditures in the state of Texas.
The State of Texas is setting up a website where, in coming weeks, people can learn more about the process of identifying restoration projects for funding through the Gulf Fund, and suggest projects for consideration: www.restorethetexascoast.org. (NOTE: this web page is still under construction and is not yet active.)
The Oil Spill in Texas
Direct shoreline impacts from the 2010 oil spill were observed along approximately 32 miles of Texas coastline, stretching from near Port Arthur to as far south as Galveston Island. The bird and marine species harmed by the spill depend on Texas’s vast coastal landscape.
Texas has more than 3,000 miles of tidal shoreline. These waters are home to thousands of fish, shellfish, birds and other wildlife and include essential habitat for species that travel throughout the Gulf. For example, Texas contains the primary U.S. nesting beaches for the endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle.