News broke yesterday that BP has agreed to provide $1 billion toward early restoration projects in the Gulf of Mexico under an unprecedented agreement announced today by the Natural Resource Trustees for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. This Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) down payment is a significant first step toward restoration in the Gulf. The Gulf Renewal Project – a coalition of environmental, economic and community groups – released the following statement:
“This is a good day for the Gulf and a welcome first step on the long road to recovery and restoration for the region’s environment and economy,” said the joint statement by the Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Ocean Conservancy, Oxfam America and The Nature Conservancy. “The BP oil disaster was unprecedented and BP’s down payment toward Gulf restoration today is also unprecedented. Restoration of these threatened resources simply cannot wait. Combined with other potential sources of funding, the NRDA funds announced today provide the opportunity to build a strong foundation for lasting, meaningful restoration of the Gulf Coast.”
The Trustees involved are: Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, the Department of the Interior (DOI) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The Department of Justice provided assistance in reaching the agreement.