TEXAS—The Texas Trustee Implementation Group (TIG) has released its first restoration plan, selecting 13 restoration projects to compensate for injuries to natural resources caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Texas Trustee Implementation Group Final 2017 Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment: Restoration of Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitats; and Oysters, was published on October 18, 2017, and prioritizes restoration projects for oysters and wetlands, coastal, and nearshore habitats with a total estimated cost of $45,761,000. The 13 selected projects include:
Wetlands, Coastal, and Nearshore Habitat restoration type
Bird Island Cove Habitat Restoration Engineering, Galveston Bay System
Essex Bayou Habitat Restoration Engineering, Galveston Bay System
Dredged Material Planning for Wetland Restoration, Texas Coast
McFaddin Beach and Dune Restoration, Sabine Lake Area
Bessie Heights Wetland Restoration, Sabine Lake Area
Pierce Marsh Wetland Restoration, Galveston Bay System
Indian Point Shoreline Erosion Protection, Corpus Christi Bay System
Bahia Grande Hydrologic Restoration, Lower Laguna Madre
Follets Island Habitat Acquisition, Galveston Bay System
Mid-Coast Habitat Acquisition, Matagorda County
Bahia Grande Coastal Corridor Habitat Acquisition, Lower Laguna Madre
Laguna Atascosa Habitat Acquisition, Lower Laguna Madre
Oyster restoration type
Oyster Restoration Engineering, Galveston Bay System
The Texas TIG began this restoration planning effort by requesting project ideas from the public, governmental agencies, and stakeholders in June 2016. The Trustees considered more than 800 projects and proposed 13 preferred projects in the draft restoration plan published in May 2017. The draft restoration plan was made available for public review and comment, and public meetings were held in the Galveston and Corpus Christi areas in early June 2017. The comment period closed on June 19th. The final restoration plan reflects revisions to the draft plan resulting from public comments and continuing project development by the Texas TIG. In light of the recent impacts to the coast by Hurricane Harvey, the Trustees re-evaluated the proposed preferred project sites and determined that coastal conditions did not change the suite of projects selected in this restoration plan.
In April 2016, a federal district court in New Orleans entered a consent decree resolving civil claims against BP arising from the April 20, 2010 Macondo well blowout and the massive oil spill that followed in the Gulf of Mexico. Under this settlement, BP agreed to pay the Trustees for Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment up to $8.8 billion for restoration over 15 years to address natural resource injuries. This includes $238 million towards Texas restoration efforts. This is Texas’ first restoration plan utilizing these funds.
For more information about ongoing restoration efforts in Texas or to view this restoration plan, please visit: www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/restoration-areas/texas.