An Update on Ten Years of Restoration
By Chris Wells
April 20, 2020, marked the tenth anniversary of the
(a/k/a BP) oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Those ten years have involved not only the unprecedented response efforts in the immediate aftermath of the spill, but also settlement negotiations and the implementation of projects to help restore the natural resources and the economy of the Gulf of Mexico region.
While it took several years of work among the Gulf states and federal agencies to reach a settlement, in the nearly four years since the settlement, and to some extent even prior to the settlement, we have been diligently getting projects underway to benefit our Gulf Coast’s natural resources and its economy.
As the agency managing the
restoration efforts in Mississippi, MDEQ has held multiple public meetings, including our annual Restoration Summit, across the Coast to seek input on the types of projects that are needed.
That input has resulted in 105 restoration projects implemented and currently underway with a total of $576 million of obligated funds. Three main funding streams provide these resources to Mississippi: the
Natural Resource Damage Assessment
(NRDA), and the
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
(NFWF) Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (GEBF). We have directed approximately 80 percent to ecological restoration and 20 percent to economic restoration.
This brief overview cannot cover all the various aspects of restoration. I encourage you to find out more about MDEQ’s restoration program, and the various projects, by going to our website at
. You can also sign up for
and our other outreach methods. Your input will continue to guide us as we improve the Coast’s beautiful natural resources.