1. Home
  2. News and insights
  3. Press releases
  4. BP and Deepwater Horizon NRD trustees agree to 14 additional proposed early restoration projects in Florida

BP and Deepwater Horizon NRD trustees agree to 14 additional proposed early restoration projects in Florida totaling $73 nillion

Release date: 2 May 2013

BP and federal and state Natural Resource Damages (NRD) Trustees have reached agreement in principle on 14 additional proposed early restoration projects in Florida that are expected to cost approximately $73 million. This includes 12 projects proposed by the state of Florida totaling $58 million and two projects proposed by the U.S. Department of the Interior totaling $15 million. The projects are part of BP's unprecedented commitment to provide up to $1 billion in early restoration funding to expedite recovery of natural resources injured as a result of the Deepwater Horizon accident. 

 

BP and the Trustees have now agreed to a total of 18 early restoration projects in Florida expected to cost approximately $84 million, including four projects that were approved in 2012 and are already underway. BP stepped up to make funds available while the NRD assessment is ongoing, enabling restoration projects to begin long before they otherwise would have. 

 

Throughout the Gulf region, BP and the Trustees have now announced 33 projects totaling approximately $646 million.

 

“We are extremely pleased to have reached agreement with the Trustees on the new projects, which will provide significant long-term benefits to the environment and the people of Florida,” said Laura Folse, BP’s Executive Vice President for Response and Environmental Restoration. “With the help of the extensive cleanup efforts, early restoration projects, and natural recovery processes, the Gulf is returning to its baseline condition, which is the condition it would be in if the accident had not occurred.” 

 

The new Florida projects will include ecological projects that restore habitat and resources, as well as projects that enhance recreational use of natural resources. The ecological projects will include restoration of seagrass and oyster habitats, as well as the creation of living shorelines – made from organic materials – that protect against coastal erosion and provide habitat for wildlife. The recreational use projects are designed to address the temporary loss of use and enjoyment of natural resources during the time when the resources were in a condition that reduced human use, including, for example, the period when some beaches and waters were closed. Although a number of the project locations were not directly injured by the accident, the projects address loss of use by providing residents and visitors with new recreational options, better access to existing natural resources and a greater opportunity to enjoy them.

 

The Agreement between BP and the Trustees is unique in that it makes it possible for restoration to begin at an earlier stage of the NRD process. NRD restoration projects are typically funded only after a final settlement has been reached or a final court judgment has been entered. The Agreement allows the parties to expedite projects to restore, replace or acquire the equivalent of injured natural resources in the Gulf soon after an injury is identified, reducing the time needed to achieve restoration of those resources. 

 

Under the Agreement, BP provides the funding and the Trustees implement the projects. Funding is provided from the $20 billion trust BP established in 2010 to pay claims, final judgments in litigation and litigation settlements, state and local response costs and claims, and natural resource damages and related costs. In addition to the early restoration projects, to meet its commitments in the Gulf, BP has spent more than $14 billion in operational response and clean-up costs; has paid $10.7 billion to individuals, businesses and government entities for claims, settlements and other payments; and has agreed to a settlement with the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee that will resolve the substantial majority of outstanding private economic loss, property damage and medical claims.

Further information:

 

Contacts:

 

BP US Press Office, +1 281 366-4463, uspress@bp.com

Notes to Editors

 

Florida early restoration projects announced today include:

 

  • Florida Oyster Reef Restoration Project will restore oyster cultch and improve oyster populations in three Florida panhandle bays. The cultch material will be placed on debilitated oyster reefs over a 60 acre area in the Pensacola Bay system in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties; over a 60 acre area in the St. Andrew Bay system in Bay County; and over a 90 acre area in the Apalachicola Bay system in Franklin County. Estimated Cost: $5,370,596
  • Florida Seagrass Recovery Project will address boat damage to shallow seagrass beds in the Florida panhandle by restoring scars located in turtle grass habitats. Additionally, a boater outreach and education component will include installing or updating signage and buoys designed to protect seagrass. Educational signage and brochures highlighting best practices for protecting seagrass habitats will also be installed or made available at popular boat ramps in St. Joseph Bay, Alligator Harbor, and St. Andrews Bay. Estimated cost: $2,691,867
  • Florida Perdido Key Dune Restoration Project will restore dune habitat in Florida’s Perdido Key by planting appropriate dune vegetation approximately 40 feet seaward of the existing primary dune. This will provide a buffer to the primary dune and enhance dune habitats. In addition, gaps in existing dunes will be revegetated to provide a continuous dune structure. Estimated cost; $611,234
  • Florida Pensacola Bay Living Shorelines Restoration Project will create and restore approximately 18.8 acres of salt marsh habitat and 4 acres of oyster reefs. This will help reduce shoreline erosion; improve the populations and stability of organisms dependent on these habitats; and improve water quality. Fill materials will be utilized to construct the 18.8 acres and will be planted with appropriate vegetation. Estimated cost; $10,828,063
  • Florida Cat Point Living Shoreline Restoration Project will expand an existing breakwater at the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve Office Complex and Nature Center in Eastpoint, Florida. Breakwaters will be constructed at two sites where salt marsh habitat had previously been created as part of living shoreline projects. Estimated cost; $775,605
  • Florida Perdido Key State Park Beach Boardwalk Improvements Project will replace three boardwalks leading to the beach. This will improve public access to the beach, including additional handicap access. Estimated cost; $588,500
  • Florida Big Lagoon State Park Boat Ramp Improvements Project will expand and improve the boat ramp area to enhance the quality of the users’ visit. This includes adding an additional lane to the boat ramp; expanding boat trailer parking; improving traffic circulation at the boat ramp; and providing a new restroom facility. Estimated cost; $1,483,020
  • Florida Bob Sikes Pier Parking and Trail Restoration Project will include improvements such as the addition of solar lighting in dark areas; minor pier and rail modifications to improve safety and more readily accommodate handicapped fisherman; renovation and rehabilitation of designated parking areas; improved striping and signage for handicapped parking areas; and widening and enhancing a half mile section of a multipurpose (bicycle/pedestrian) access trail that connects Bob Sikes Fishing Pier to other recreational and commercial areas on the beach. Estimated cost; $1,023,990
  • Florida Artificial Reef Project will provide additional long-term fishing and diving opportunities through construction and restoration of artificial reefs in five Panhandle counties. The counties are popular commercial fishing areas and the project will help ensure that important fish habitats are plentiful and healthy. Estimated cost; $11,463,587
  • Florida Fish Hatchery Project will construct and operate a saltwater sportfish hatchery in Pensacola (Escambia County), Florida. This facility will focus on restoring lost recreational fishing use by producing popular sportfish species such as red snapper, red drum, and spotted sea trout. Estimated cost: $18,793,500
  • Florida Scallop Enhancement for Increased Recreational Fishing Opportunity Project will use existing restoration methods to enhance bay scallop populations in the bays of Florida’s Panhandle. Specifically, the project will enhance local scallop populations in targeted areas through a combination of the harvest and redistribution of naturally occurring juvenile scallops and hatchery stocking. Estimated cost; $2,890,250
  • Florida Shell Point Beach Nourishment Project will place approximately 15,000 cubic yards of sand on the beach. The length of beach is approximately 1 mile, with an area of about 4.5 acres. Estimated cost: $882,750
  • Department of the Interior Beach Enhancement Project at Gulf Islands National Seashore will remove foreign materials – such as asphalt – to provide a better experience for people visiting the area. An estimated 85,850 cubic yards of asphalt and road base materials needs to be removed from a 376 acre area. Estimated cost; $10,836,055
  • Department of the Interior Gulf Islands National Seashore Ferry Project will purchase two passenger ferry boats, each with a capacity of approximately 149 passengers, to ferry visitors from Pensacola and/or Pensacola Beach to the Fort Pickens unit of Gulf Islands National Seashore. Estimated cost: $4,020,000

 

Projects Approved in 2012*:

 

  • Florida Boat Ramp Enhancement Project will repair two existing public boat ramps and construct two new public boat ramps in Escambia County to improve access for water-related recreational activities. In addition, visitor information kiosks will be installed to provide environmental education to boaters and the public. Base cost + contingency: $5,067,225
  • Florida (Pensacola Beach) Dune Restoration Project will directly restore primary vegetated dune habitat through active replacement of plants and dunes. The proposed project will help prevent erosion by restoring a “living shoreline”: a coastline protected by plants and associated dunes rather than hard structures. These natural resources provide habitat to wildlife and increase the storm protection to both habitat and human resources. Base cost + contingency: $644,487
  • Improving Habitat Injured by Spill Response: Restoring the Night Sky in Alabama and Florida will improve the quality of nesting beach habitat by addressing artificial lighting, a pervasive negative impact to nesting loggerhead sea turtle females and hatchlings on Gulf beaches. The project involves multiple components: assessments will be conducted of existing lights prior to lighting retrofits; coordination with site managers on development of plans to eliminate, retrofit, or replace existing light fixtures on the property or to otherwise decrease the amount of light reaching the loggerhead sea turtle nesting beach; retrofitting streetlights and parking lot lights; increased efforts by local governments to ensure compliance with local lighting ordinances; and a public awareness campaign. Cost: $4,321,165 (funding is apportioned between Florida and Alabama)
  • Enhanced Management of Avian Breeding Habitat in Florida, Alabama and Mississippi will reduce disturbance to nesting habitat for beach-nesting birds on approximately 1,800-2,300 acres of state beaches and federal beaches. This project involves three components: marking sensitive nesting sites for beach-nesting birds, thus indicating the site is off-limits to people, pets, and other sources of disturbance; increasing predator control thus reducing disturbance and loss of eggs, chicks, and adult beach nesting birds at nesting sites; and increasing surveillance and monitoring of posted nesting sites thus minimizing disturbance. Cost: $4,420,320 (funding is apportioned between Florida, Alabama and Mississippi)

*Two projects approved in 2012 span multiple states and include Department of Interior lands