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NFWF Approves Nearly $109 Million for New Restoration Projects on the Gulf Coast

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Announces Seventh Round of Grants from its Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund

/EIN News/ -- WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 12, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) today announced the award of nearly $109 million from its Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (GEBF) to 20 new projects in the states of Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and Texas. The projects, developed in consultation with state and federal resource agencies, are designed to remedy harm and reduce the risk of future harm to natural resources that were affected by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Today’s announcement represents the seventh round of awards from the GEBF. With today’s announcement, NFWF has awarded more than $1.4 billion to projects across the five Gulf States.

“The awards we announce today include important investments to acquire, preserve and restore critical coastal habitats across the Gulf Coast,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “These projects, as well as ongoing investments in projects that directly benefit living resources, will contribute significantly to our goal of protecting and restoring species and habitats impacted by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.”

NFWF created the GEBF in 2013 to receive and administer funds resulting from remedial orders in plea agreements between the U.S. Department of Justice and BP and Transocean. The plea agreements resolved certain criminal charges against both companies relating to the 2010 oil spill. Provisions within the agreements directed a total of $2.54 billion to NFWF over a five-year period to be used to support natural resource projects in each of the five Gulf States.

As required under the plea agreements, NFWF consulted with state resource agencies, as well as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), to identify potential project priorities and funding needs. The consultations ensure coordination between NFWF’s GEBF and the agencies’ related activities under the Natural Resource Damage Assessment and RESTORE Act programs.

The GEBF projects announced today complement those previously announced or currently under consideration by the Natural Resource Damage Assessment and RESTORE Act programs. Collectively, and where appropriate, these efforts are being coordinated and leveraged to advance large-scale Gulf Coast conservation outcomes and maximize sustainable environmental benefits.

ALABAMA

The NFWF Board of Directors approved the award of nearly $8 million for two new projects in the state of Alabama. The Alabama projects address high-priority conservation needs, including the acquisition and protection of important wetland habitats. A list of the new 2019 GEBF projects in Alabama can be found here.

The number of awards from the GEBF in the state of Alabama now stands at 34, with a total current value of more than $213 million. All projects were selected for funding following extensive consultation with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, FWS and NOAA. Additional information on all GEBF projects in Alabama can be found here.

FLORIDA

The NFWF Board of Directors approved the award of nearly $60 million for six new projects in the state of Florida. The Florida projects address high-priority restoration and conservation needs, including projects focused on restoring dune habitat, oyster reefs, wetland habitats, watershed health and avian rookery habitat. A list of the new 2019 GEBF projects in Florida can be found here.

The number of awards from the GEBF in the state of Florida now stands at 39, with a total current value of nearly $223 million. All projects were selected for funding following extensive consultation with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, FWS and NOAA. Additional information on all GEBF projects in Florida can be found here.

LOUISIANA

To date, the number of awards from the GEBF in the state of Louisiana now stands at 13, with a total current value of more than $607 million. These projects were selected after extensive consultation with the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, FWS and NOAA.

The state of Louisiana continues to make significant progress in advancing previously-approved GEBF awards, which advance fundamental components of the state’s comprehensive Coastal Master Plan. Additional information on all GEBF projects in Louisiana can be found here.

MISSISSIPPI

The NFWF Board of Directors approved the award of nearly $16 million for five new projects in the state of Mississippi. The 2019 Mississippi projects address high-priority conservation needs and include funding for continued investments in priority oyster reef restoration, the expansion of invasive species management, ongoing reef fish assessments and the implementation of reef fish habitat restoration. A list of the new 2019 GEBF projects in Mississippi can be found here.

The total number of awards from the GEBF in the state of Mississippi now stands at 23, with a total current value of nearly $159 million. All projects were selected for funding following extensive consultation with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, FWS and NOAA. Additional information on all GEBF projects in Mississippi can be found here.

TEXAS

The NFWF Board of Directors approved the award of more than $25 million for seven new projects in the state of Texas. The Texas projects address high-priority conservation needs, including the acquisition of significant coastal habitats, wetland and marsh complex restoration, and shoreline protection. A list of the new 2019 GEBF projects in Texas can be found here.

The total number of awards from the GEBF in the state of Texas now stands at 55, with a total current value of more than $183 million. All projects were selected for funding following extensive consultation with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas General Lands Office, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, FWS and NOAA. Additional information on all GEBF projects in Texas can be found here.

About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
Chartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores the nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, corporate and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 4,500 organizations and generated a conservation impact of more than $5.3 billion. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.

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Rob Blumenthal
                    National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
                    (202) 857-0166
                    rob.blumenthal@nfwf.org
                    

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