NFWF’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund
The U.S. Department of Justice entered into criminal plea bargain agreements with two of the responsible parties, BP and Transocean for the oil spill caused by the explosion of the Macondo exploratory well off the coast of Louisiana on April 20, 2010. As part of these agreements, BP agreed to pay $2.394 billion and Transocean agreed to pay $150 million in criminal penalties to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). In these plea agreements, the court charged NFWF with the proper distribution and spending of the criminal fines. To that end, NFWF has established the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (GEBF) to provide restoration funding for the five Gulf States.
The criminal penalties are allocated among the five states as follows: 50% to Louisiana; 14% each to Mississippi, Alabama and Florida; and 8% to Texas.
Over five years, the Fund will receive a total of $1.272 billion for barrier island and river diversion projects in Louisiana; $356 million each for natural resource projects in Alabama, Florida and Mississippi; and $203 million for similar projects in Texas.
Plea agreements require NFWF to consult with appropriate state and federal resource managers to identify projects and maximize environmental benefits. In Texas, NFWF is consulting with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the Texas General Land Office (GLO), as well as with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
2018 NFWF GEBF Project Solicitation
The Texas Trustee agencies (GLO, TPWD, and TCEQ) and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) are considering projects for the 2018 funding cycle from the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund. During this funding cycle, approximately $37 million is available for new projects in Texas. The deadline for submittal of projects was January 3, 2018.
The Texas Trustee agencies are no longer accepting project submittals for the 2018 funding cycle at this time. Announcement of NFWF GEBF Awards is currently scheduled for November 2018.