Update on Gulf Restoration

Mobile Bay - Fairhope SCF.JPGOn Thursday, September 15, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Geological Survey of Alabama held a public meeting to “demystify” the various sources of restoration funding coming to Alabama as a result of the BP oil disaster.

A total of $1.38 billion is guaranteed for Alabama through four different “buckets” of funding. (This does not include the $1 billion in economic settlement funds the legislature recently allocated.) The following is a breakdown of the funding streams and the portion Alabama will receive.

Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) = $296 million 

While we can compete for additional funding through NRDA, Alabama is guaranteed a total of $296 million. NRDA fines are levied through the Oil Pollution Act and are meant to address damages to natural resources, including the public’s loss of use during the injury.

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) = $356 million 

NFWF funding comes from the Clean Water Act criminal penalties levied against BP and Transocean. This funding comes in faster than other funding sources; the final payment of NFWF funds will be deposited into the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund in 2018. NFWF money funds projects that benefit natural resources harmed by the oil disaster.

RESTORE Act funding = $725 million for Alabama

Through the RESTORE Act, 80% of the penalties paid by responsible parties must come to the Gulf states for restoration. There are two sources of funds through the RESTORE Act, one of which is determined by the Federal Council, and the other through the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council, or state council.  The funding guaranteed to Alabama comes through the state council and can fund projects that restore our economy and ecosystem. Additional funding for Alabama can be sought through the federal council’s funding process.

To sign up for coastal restoration email updates from the state of Alabama, visit AlabamaCoastalRestoration.org. Conservation Alabama will continue to update our members on opportunities for public comments and public meetings and as funding decisions are made.

Upcoming Public Meetings

Sept. 20 – RESTORE Public Meeting on Draft Comprehensive Plan

Sept. 28 – NRDA Trustee Council Public Meeting in New Orleans

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