Coastal Restoration Funding for Texas from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

RESTORE The Texas Coast

Texas: First Gulf State to Receive RESTORE Funds for Centers of Excellence

TCEQ Commissioner Toby Baker today announced that Texas is the first state in the nation to receive money from the RESTORE Trust Fund through an award from the U.S. Treasury to fund two Centers of Excellence. The two centers, Texas OneGulf, at Texas A&M, Corpus Christi, and Subsea Systems Institute, at the University of Houston, will equally share an initial $4.036 million.

Read the full news release

Draft Phase IV Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment Published

The Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Trustees have announced the release of the Draft Phase IV Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment. The draft, now available for public review and comment, is posted online and will be available at public meetings along the Gulf, including the following two in Texas:

Wednesday, June 10th from 6 to 9:00 pm
Texas A&M University at Galveston
Seawolf Parkway on Pelican Island
Auditorium, Class Room Lab Building
Galveston, TX 77554

Thursday, June 11th
Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies
Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi
6300 Ocean Drive
Corpus Christi, TX 78412

Public meetings will begin with an interactive open house during which Trustee staff will be available to discuss project details. The open house will be followed by a formal presentation and opportunity for the public to provide comments to Trustee representatives. In addition to verbal comments provided at public meetings, the public may submit written comments through June 19, 2015.

Phase IV includes two new projects involving the Texas Trustees to address impacts from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (Spill). These include a $45 million sea turtle early restoration project for work in Texas, Mexico, and elsewhere along the Gulf of Mexico and an approximately $21 million Texas rookery islands restoration project.

Sea Turtle Early Restoration

  • Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle Nest Detection and Enhancement in Texas and Mexico
  • Enhancement of the Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network and Rehabilitation Efforts in Texas
  • Texas Enhanced Fisheries Bycatch Enforcement

Read more about the Sea Turtle project

Texas Rockery Islands

The Texas Rookery Islands project would restore and protect three rookery islands in Galveston Bay, Smith Point Island and East Matagorda Bay. The intent of the project is to increase the numbers of nesting colonial waterbirds by restoring and protecting rookery islands in Galveston and East Matagorda Bays.

Read more about the Texas Rookery Islands project.

See public meeting schedule

Comment online:

By U.S. Mail: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 49567, Atlanta, GA 30345

Early restoration is not intended to provide the full extent of restoration needed to satisfy the Trustees’ claims against BP. The Spill injury assessment and restoration planning will continue until the public is fully compensated for the natural resources and services that were lost as a result of the Spill.

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About RESTORE the Texas Coast

The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill began with the explosion of the Macondo exploratory well off the coast of Louisiana on April 20, 2010. The explosion killed 11 workers. The resulting blowout at the wellhead more than a mile below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico caused the largest oil spill in American history. The oil flowed into the Gulf for almost three months before the well was contained. The well discharged millions of barrels of oil. Cleanup of oil is still ongoing in some areas.

The entities responsible for the cleanup and damage from the DWH oil spill are the “responsible parties” or “RPs” under the federal Oil Pollution Act (OPA). The responsible parties are also responsible for restoring lost natural resources. For the DWH oil spill, the responsible parties are owners and operators of the Macondo oil rig, including British Petroleum (BP), MOEX, Halliburton, and Transocean.

The DWH oil spill and its aftermath created a unique set of circumstances for funding Gulf restoration projects. The funds will be paid by the parties responsible for the spill as natural resource damages, civil fines, or criminal penalties. The uncertainties and complexities of this funding and how it will be spent pose many challenges. To facilitate the public’s understanding of the various DWH funding sources the state, in consultation with federal authorities, is working cooperatively to provide the public with information about the Deepwater Horizon funding.

Texas has asserted its claims related to the DWH oil spill in federal court. These claims have been consolidated into the multi-district litigation pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Because of this ongoing litigation, the DWH funding process is ongoing and dynamic. As more information becomes available, this website will be updated to keep the public informed about how DWH funding may best be utilized to ultimately restore the Texas coast.

This website provides an opportunity for interested parties to suggest projects for consideration for funding made available to Texas as a result of the DWH oil spill.

Included in this website is information on three funding sources: NFWF/GEBF, NRDA, and the RESTORE Act. This website, along with the associated links to other websites, provides information on the different requirements for funding from each of the three sources, as well as information on the varied stages of the availability of funds. To provide the most current information, the website will be updated as needed.

A project submitted through this website will be reviewed by a working group consisting of staff from the three state agencies representing NFWF/GEBF and NRDA, along with staff representing the RESTORE Act. This working group will provide an initial review only to determine which funding sources would be the most appropriate for each submission. This process is intended to be flexible. Submitted projects may be determined to be appropriate for multiple funding sources and the working group may reassess a project’s suitability for the various funding sources as appropriate.