The has announced twenty-five grants totaling more than $99 million to support environmental projects in five Gulf states.
The second round of grants from the organization's , which was created in 2013 to support projects in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, aims to remedy the harm, and reduce the risk of future harm, to natural resources in the region affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In developing the projects, NFWF consulted with state resource agencies, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration to identify potential project priorities and funding needs under the Natural Resource Damage Assessment and RESTORE Act programs. Collectively, and where appropriate, these efforts will be coordinated and leveraged with funding from other sources to advance conservation efforts in and maximize sustainable environmental benefits to the region.
The Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund receives and administers funds stemming from plea agreements between the and and related to the massive 2010 oil spill. Provisions within the agreements direct a total of $2.544 billion to NFWF over five years to support projects designed to ameliorate harm to natural resources in the Gulf States. To date, the fund has received $511 million from the two companies and disbursed $390 million.
"The model for the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund is one of partnership," said NFWF executive director and CEO Jeff Trandahl. "In order to succeed, NFWF must bring together state resource agencies, federal agencies, and other public and private partners, all working in harmony to fund the best projects that will do the most good for the Gulf of Mexico and the communities that depend on it each and every day. The projects we announce today demonstrate the value of our efforts to work in a collaborative fashion to select projects that will provide significant benefits to wildlife and people for many years to come."
For information on , visit the NFWF website.