About the DWH Funding Programs

Berms to Barriers Project

Description

This project began in 2010 when emergency money was allocated by BP to build up berms along the Louisiana coast line in an effort to block oil from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Since then, the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) has been “taking advantage of that foundation of sand to build more-substantial and sustainable barrier islands that can serve as a first line of defense against storm surge and ecosystem degradation.” (From CPRA: Coastal Programs)

Goals

  1. Build sand berms to act as an initial response to contain the flow of oil to the Louisiana coast.
  2. Re-construct barrier islands on initial berms to protect the Louisiana coast using dredged materials.
  3. Fortify berms to advance coastal restoration.

Quick Info

  • Controlling Document: Unknown
  • Total Amount: Roughly $328,400,000
  • Program Length: 2011 – 2014
  • Target Locations: Scofield and Shell Islands off the coast of Louisiana.
  • Project Selection Process: Consultation between the State of Louisiana, BP, Army Corps of Engineers, and oil spill trustees.

List of Projects

Go to the Integrated Ecosystem Restoration & Hurricane Protection in Louisiana: 21 Fiscal Year 2015 Annual Plan

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI)

Description

GoMRI was created to fund research that “improves society’s ability to understand, respond to and mitigate the impacts of petroleum pollution and related stressors of the marine and coastal ecosystems, with an emphasis on conditions found in the Gulf of Mexico. Knowledge accrued will be applied to restoration and to improving the long-term environmental health of the Gulf of Mexico.” The GoMRI funds are the result of an independent, voluntary initiative sponsored by BP and are not related to any litigation, fines, or penalties resulting from the oil spill. (From: About GoMRI – GoMRI History)

Research Themes

  1. Physical distribution, dispersion and dilution of petroleum, its constituents and any dispersants applied, under the action of physical oceanographic processes, air-sea interactions and tropical storms.
  2. Chemical evolution and biological degradation of the petroleum/dispersant systems and subsequent interaction with coastal, open-ocean, and deep-water ecosystems.
  3. Environmental effects of the petroleum/dispersant system on the sea floor, water column, coastal waters, beach sediments, wetlands, marshes, and organisms; and the science of ecosystem recovery.
  4. Technology developments for improved response, mitigation, detection, characterization, and remediation associated with oil spills and gas releases.
  5. Impact of oil spills on public health including behavioral, socioeconomic, environmental risk assessment, community capacity and other population health considerations and issues.

Quick Info

  • Controlling Document: Master Research Agreement
  • Total Amount: $500 million from BP
  • Program Length: 10 years, from 2010 – 2020
  • Target Location: Gulf of Mexico, funding is applied to relevant research at institutions around the globe
  • Project Selection Process: Projects are selected by an independent research board; awards are made every three years.

List of Projects

Go to GoMRI website

Gulf Region Health Outreach Program (GRHOP)

Description

The Gulf Region Health Outreach Program (GRHOP) is a series of integrated, five-year projects designed to expand capacity for and access to high quality, sustainable, community-based healthcare services, including primary care, behavioral and mental care, and environmental medicine, in Gulf Coast communities of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle. The GRHOP is comprised of four projects: the Primary Care Capacity Project, the Mental and Behavioral Health Capacity Project, the Environmental Health Capacity and Literacy Project, and the Community Health Workers Training Project. The GRHOP also incorporates a Community Involvement project that coordinates community involvement within and across all GRHOP projects.

Goals

The ultimate goal of the GRHOP is to inform residents of the targeted communities about their own health and provide access, now and in the future, to skilled frontline healthcare providers supported by networks of specialists knowledgeable in addressing physical, environmental, behavioral and mental health needs, thereby improving the resilience of the targeted communities to future health challenges.

The program consists of four projects to:

  • build the capacity of primary care community health clinics in the region,
  • increase the mental and behavioral health expertise of health professionals in the targeted communities and increase awareness by local communities of mental and behavioral health issues,
  • increase the environmental health expertise of health professionals in the targeted communities and health literacy of local communities, and
  • train community health workers who will help residents navigate the healthcare system and access needed care.

The GRHOP also incorporates a Community Involvement project that oversees community outreach and works in cooperation with project leaders to coordinate community involvement within and across all GRHOP projects.

Quick Info

  • Controlling Document: Medical Benefits Class Action Settlement
  • Total Amount: $105 million from BP
  • Program Length: 5 years, from 2012 to 2017
  • Target Location: 17 coastal counties and parishes in Alabama (Mobile, Baldwin), Florida (Escambia, Santa Rosa, Walton, Okaloosa, Bay), Louisiana (Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Lafourche, Terrebonne, Cameron) and Mississippi (Hancock, Harrison, Jackson).
  • Project Selection Process: The GRHOP was developed jointly by BP and the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee as part of the Deepwater Horizon Medical Benefits Class Action Settlement, which was approved by the U.S. District Court in New Orleans.

List of Projects

Go to GoMRI website

MOEX Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs)

Description

The funds for these environmentally beneficial projects were agreed upon when MOEX and the United States settled civil claims that resulted from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The purpose of the SEPs  was to “facilitate land acquisition projects that will preserve and protect in perpetuity habitat and resources important to water quality and other environmental features of the Gulf of Mexico region.” (From: The U.S. Department of Justice, Justice News, 2/17/2012)

Priorities

  1. Coastal Land Conservation and Protection.
  2. Environmental Compliance.

Quick Info

  • Controlling Document: Consent Decree Between The United States and MOEX Offshore 2007 LLC
  • Total Amount: $20 million by MOEX
  • Program Length: Two years, from June 18, 2012 until June 18, 2014.
  • Target Locations: Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas
  • Project Selection Process: MOEX worked directly with the State agencies and the U.S. Department of Justice to select appropriate projects that satisfied the priorities of the settlement agreement.

List of Projects
Go to The Environmental Law Institute’s description of the MOEX Settlement

MOEX Clean Water Act Penalties

Description

MOEX Offshore agreed to pay $70 million in civil penalties in order to settle its civil liability from the Deepwater Horizion oil spill. Of these funds, $45 million will be added to the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, and $25 million will go to the Gulf States that participated in the settlement.

Priorities

  1. Environmental Compliance
  2. Specific actions are dependent on the State entity receiving the funds.

Quick Info

  • Controlling Document: Consent Decree Between The United States and MOEX Offshore 2007 LLC
  • Total Amount: $70 million by MOEX
  • Program Length: 2012 until funds are depleted.
  • Target Locations:
    1. $45 million to the United States Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.
    2. $6.75 million to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality’s Hazardous Waste Site Cleanup Fund.
    3. $5 million set aside for Alabama in the event that they drop their claims against the company.
    4. $5 million to Florida State Department of Enviromental Protection for stormwater management projects.
    5. $5 million to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality’s Pollution Emergency Fund.
    6. $3.25 million to Texas’ General Revenue Fund and the Coastal Protection Fund.

List of Projects

Go to The Environmental Law Institute’s description of the MOEX Settlement

National Academy of Sciences Gulf Research Program

Description

The purpose of the GRP is “to advance oil system safety and the protection of human health and the environment in the Gulf of Mexico and other U.S. outer continental shelf areas.” Given the 30 year window of this funding program, GRP will focus on tackling large, complex issues at a regional scale and over the long term. (From: Gulf Research Program: A Strategic Vision (2014)). The money for this program comes from criminal settlement penalties paid by BP and Transocean.

Themes

  1. Foster innovative improvements to safety technologies, safety culture, and environmental protection systems associated with offshore oil and gas development.
  2. Improve understanding of the connections between human health and the environment to support the development of healthy and resilient Gulf communities.
  3. Advance understanding of the Gulf of Mexico region as a dynamic system with complex, interconnecting human and environmental systems, functions, and processes to inform the protection and restoration of ecosystem services.

Quick Info

  • Controlling Documents: Guilty Plea Agreement between BP and U.S. Department of Justice
  • Program Plan: Gulf Research Program: A Strategic Vision
  • Total Amount: $500 million
  • Program Length: 30 years, from 2013 to 2043. Project selection will start in 2015.
  • Target Locations: Gulf of Mexico and other U.S. outer continental shelf areas
  • Project Selection Process: Independent peer reviewers will evaluate proposals using the Merit Review Criteria. Evaluation scores will be sent to the Gulf Research Program’s Advisory Board Members, who will review the proposals and their scores, and then recommend a list of projects to fund. The final decision will be made by the Gulf Research Program of the National Academy of Sciences.

List of Projects

Go to GRP website

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation – Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (NFWF - GEBF)

Description

The Gulf Environment Benefit Fund (GEBF) was created in 2013 to fund projects that benefit the natural resources of the Gulf Coast that were affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. (From NFWF – Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund) The funds directed into the GEBF are the result of two criminal settlements with BP and Transocean.

Priorities

In Louisiana:

  1. GEBF funds are restricted to barrier island restoration and river diversion projects contained in the State’s Coastal Master Plan.

In Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, and Texas:

  1. Restore and maintain the ecological functions of landscape-scale coastal habitats, including barrier islands, beaches and coastal marshes, and ensure their viability and resilience against existing and future threats;
  2. Restore and maintain the ecological integrity of priority coastal bays and estuaries; and
  3. Replenish and protect living resources including oysters, red snapper and other reef fish, Gulf Coast bird populations, sea turtles and marine mammals.

Quick Info

  • Controlling Documents: Guilty Plea Agreement between BP and U.S. Department of Justice, Guilty Plea Agreement between Transocean and U.S. Department of Justice
  • Total Amount: $2.544 billion from BP and Transocean
  • Program Length: Payments to NFWF will be received from 2013 – 2018; program will remain active until all funds are expended.
  • Target Locations: The five Gulf States: Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, and Florida.
  • Project Selection Process: Projects are solicited through State-managed websites. Projects are selected by NFWF after consultation with the Gulf States, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

List of Projects

Go to GEBF website

Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA)

Description

When an oil spill occurs in the United States, natural resource trustees employ the Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA) process to identify injured natural resources and lost recreational uses, and to decide how best to either restore or compensate for them. NRDA’s scientific studies and legal processes can take years to complete, especially after a large disaster like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Because of this, NRDA Trustees and BP agreed to an Early Restoration process for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which is allowing the Trustees to begin restoration of the spill’s impacts before the full NRDA process is complete. BP and NRDA Trustees negotiate the Natural Resource Damage Offsets that are appropriate for each project. When the NRDA process is complete, the Trustees will apply these agreed Offsets against their total assessment of injury resulting from the spill.

Early Restoration Framework Criteria

Projects are selected based on criteria included in the Early Restoration Agreement with BP, the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, and additional practical considerations. The Early Restoration Agreement with BP requires that projects:

  • Contribute to making the environment and the public whole by restoring, rehabilitating, replacing, or acquiring the equivalent of natural resources or services injured as a result of the Spill, or compensating for interim losses resulting from the incident;
  • Address one or more specific injuries to natural resources or services associated with the incident;
  • Seek to restore natural resources, habitats, or natural resource services of the same type, quality, and of comparable ecological and/or human-use value to compensate for identified resource and service losses resulting from the incident;
  • Are consistent with the anticipated long-term restoration needs and anticipated final restoration plan; and
  • Are feasible and cost-effective.

Quick Info

  • Controlling Document: NRDA Early Restoration Framework Agreement
  • Program Plan: Final Phase I Plan, Final Phase II Plan, Final Phase III Plan
  • Total Amount: BP provided $1 billion for Early Restoration.
  • Program Length: From April 2011 until all funded projects are complete.
  • Target Locations: The Gulf region, including near-shore and offshore areas injured by the spill.
  • Project Selection Process: Project ideas are submitted online at NOAA’s Gulf Spill Restoration Project Submission Portal or other Trustee avenues. NRDA Trustees evaluate and develop the submitted projects based on criteria described in the Early Restoration Framework Criteria section, above. The NRDA Trustees then work with BP to agree on (1) the funding amount for the proposed project; and (2) the offsets that will be credited against the total injury for the spill. NRDA Trustees release an early restoration plan for public review and comment before finalizing the chosen projects.

List of Projects

Go to NOAA’s Gulf Spill Restoration Site

North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA)

Description

The North American Wetlands Conservation Act of 1989 “provides matching grants to organizations and individuals who have developed partnerships to carry out wetlands conservation projects in the United States, Canada, and Mexico for the benefit of wetlands-associated migratory birds and other wildlife.” (From: US FWS Gulf Restoration: NAWCA) This fund is the result of a criminal fine due to one misdemeanor count (Count Thirteen) of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA).

Priorities

Funds will be used for wetlands restoration and conservation located in states bordering the Gulf of Mexico or for projects designed to benefit migratory bird species and other wildlife affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Quick Info

  • Controlling Document: Guilty Plea Agreement between BP and U.S. Department of Justice
  • Total Amount: $100 million from BP.
  • Program Length: BP will pay into the fund for five years, from 2014 – 2018.
  • Target Locations: Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, as well as locations that benefit affected habitats and migratory species in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
  • Project Selection Process: Grant submissions are evaluated by the Division of Bird Habitat Conservation within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, selected by the North American Wetlands Conservation Council, and approved by the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission.

List of Projects

Go to NAWCA’s Website

The RESTORE Act Funds: The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (RESTORE Council)

Description

The RESTORE Council administers 60 percent of the funds made available from the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund. Thirty percent plus interest is administered by the Council for ecosystem restoration and protection under the RESTORE Council’s Comprehensive Plan (“Bucket 2”) and the other thirty percent is allocated among the five Gulf Coast States and spent according to individual State Expenditure Plans, which require approval of the Council (“Bucket 3”).  (From: About the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council – About Us)

Goals of the Comprehensive Plan

  1. Restore and Conserve Habitat.
  2. Restore Water Quality.
  3. Replenish and Protect Living Coastal and Marine Resources.
  4. Enhance Community Resilience.
  5. Restore and Revitalize the Gulf Economy.

Quick Info

  • Controlling Document: The RESTORE Act
  • Program Plan: Initial Comprehensive Plan
  • Total Amount: The final amount is currently unknown. $800 million plus penalty interest in Clean Water Act Penalties paid by Transocean was deposited to the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund. However, the final amounts to be paid by BP and Anadarko are still to be determined.
  • Program Length: Until the trust fund is depleted.
  • Target Locations: The Gulf Coast Region, as defined by the RESTORE Act and the Department of Treasury’s regulation, 31 CFR Part 34.
  • Project Selection Process: With respect to the Comprehensive Plan component, members of The RESTORE Council nominate funding proposals to the RESTORE Council itself. The RESTORE Council will consider all proposals and publish a draft Funded Priorities List (FPL) showing the projects and programs it intends to fund. The public will review and comment on the draft FPL. The Council will carefully consider the public comments, change the list as needed, and publish the final FPL.

Go to the RESTORE Council’s Site

The RESTORE Act Funds Bucket 1: The Direct Component

Description

The Direct Component of the RESTORE Act is administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury and is comprised of thirty-five percent of the annual amount available in the Gulf Restoration Trust Fund, to be shared equally among the Gulf Coast States for expenditure on ecological and economic restoration.  (From: The RESTORE Act (H. R. 4348—186))

Eligible Activities in the Gulf Coast Region

  1. Restoration and protection of the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, and coastal wetlands of the Gulf Coast region.
  2. Mitigation of damage to fish, wildlife, and natural resources.
  3. Implementation of a federally approved marine, coastal, or comprehensive conservation management plan, including fisheries monitoring.
  4. Workforce development and job creation.
  5. Improvements to or on State parks located in coastal areas affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
  6. Infrastructure projects benefiting the economy or ecological resources, including port infrastructure.
  7. Planning assistance.
  8. Administrative costs.
  9. Promotion of tourism in the Gulf Coast Region, including recreational fishing.
  10. Promotion of the consumption of seafood harvested from the Gulf Coast Region.

Quick Info

  • Controlling Document: The RESTORE Act
  • Total Amount: The final amount is currently unknown. $800 million plus penalty interest in Clean Water Act Penalties paid by Transocean was deposited to the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund. However, the final amounts to be paid by BP and Anadarko are still to be determined.
  • Program Length: Until the trust fund is depleted.
  • Target Locations: The Gulf Coast Region, as defined by the RESTORE Act and the Department of Treasury’s regulation, 31 CFR Part 34.
  • Project Selection Process: Grants are administered by State, County, and Parish entities, who submit plans to the U.S. Department of Treasury for eligibility and completeness reviews.

More Information

The RESTORE Act Funds Bucket 4: NOAA's RESTORE Act Science Program

Description

Under 1604 of the RESTORE Act, NOAA was directed to establish a Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Science, Observations, Monitoring and Technology Program that will receive 2.5 percent of the Gulf Restoration Trust Fund, plus interest. The mission of the NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program is to “initiate and sustain an integrative, holistic understanding of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem and support the restoration and long-term sustainability of the ecosystem, including its fish stocks, fishing industries, habitat, and wildlife through ecosystem research, observations, monitoring, and technology development.” (From: The RESTORE Act Science Program Fact Sheet)

Long-Term Research Priorities

  1. Increase comprehensive understanding of Gulf ecosystem services, resilience, and vulnerabilities of coupled social and ecological systems.
  2. Construct management-ready and accessible ecosystem models for the Gulf of Mexico.
  3. Improve forecasting, analysis, and modeling of climate change and weather effects on the sustainability and resiliency of Gulf ecosystems.
  4. Increase comprehensive understanding of watershed, sediment, and nutrient flows and impacts on coastal ecology and habitats.
  5. Increase comprehensive understanding of living coastal and marine resources, food web dynamics, habitat utilization, protected areas, and carbon flow.
  6. Analyze new and existing social and environmental data to develop long-term trend and variability information on the status and health of ecosystems, including humans.
  7. Develop, identify, and validate system-wide indicators of Gulf Coast environmental and socioeconomic conditions.
  8. Obtain information and develop decision support tools needed to monitor and adaptively manage habitat, living marine resources, and wildlife.
  9. Network and integrate existing and planned data/information from Gulf monitoring programs.
  10. Develop and implement advanced engineering, physical, chemical, biological, and socioeconomic technologies to improve monitoring.

Quick Info

  • Controlling Document:  The RESTORE Act
  • Program Plan:  NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program Science Plan
  • Total Amount: The final amount is currently unknown. $800 million plus penalty interest in Clean Water Act Penalties paid by Transocean was deposited to the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund. However, the final amounts to be paid by BP and Anadarko are still to be determined.
  • Program Length: Until the trust fund is depleted.
  • Target Locations: The Gulf Coast Region, as defined by the RESTORE Act and the Department of Treasury’s regulation, 31 CFR Part 34. NOAA’s  research projects will focus on studying The Gulf of Mexico Large Marine Ecosystem, with an emphasis on marine and estuarine environments.
  • Project Selection Process:  NOAA will administer competitively-selected grants to fulfill the objectives of the Program.

List of Projects

Go to the NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program Website

The RESTORE Act Funds Bucket 5: Centers of Excellence Research Grants Program

Description

Under 1605 of the RESTORE Act, each Gulf Coast State will establish a Center of Excellence to conduct research focused on science, technology, and monitoring in at least one of the eligible disciplines.  Collectively, the Centers of Excellence will receive 2.5 percent of the Gulf Restoration Trust Funds, plus interest. (From: The RESTORE Act (H. R. 4348—201))

The Five Eligible Science Disciplines

  1. Coastal and deltaic sustainability, restoration, and protection, including solutions and technology that allow citizens to live in a safe and sustainable manner in a coastal delta in the Gulf region.
  2. Coastal fisheries and wildlife ecosystem research and monitoring in the Gulf Coast region
  3. Offshore energy development, including research and technology, to improve the sustainable and safe development of energy resources in the Gulf of Mexico.
  4. Sustainable and resilient growth, economic and commercial development in the Gulf Coast region.
  5. Comprehensive observation, monitoring, and mapping.

Quick Info

  • Controlling Document: The RESTORE Act
  • Total Amount: The final amount is currently unknown. $800 million plus penalty interest in Clean Water Act Penalties paid by Transocean was deposited to the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund. However, the final amounts to be paid by BP and Anadarko are still to be determined.
  • Program Length: Until the trust fund is depleted.
  • Target Locations: The Gulf Coast Region, as defined by the RESTORE Act and the Department of Treasury’s regulation, 31 CFR Part 34.
  • Project Selection Process: Established Centers of Excellence in each Gulf Coast State will administer competitively-selected research grants.

Entities that are Eligible to Administer Center of Excellence Funds:

List of Projects

Go to the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Centers of Excellence Research Grant Program Page