The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) has approved 5 new coastal restoration projects in Alabama totaling more than $47 million.
The projects are the final funding commitments of the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (GEBF). The Restoration Fund was established 10 years ago by the NFWF to support projects in Alabama following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon tragedy.
Since its inception, projects in Alabama have totaled more than $356 million.
The last five approved projects in the program are:
- Dauphin Island East End Restoration – Phase II
- Gulf Highlands Conservation Acquisition – Change
- Lower Fish River Watershed Restoration – Phase II
- Wolf and Sandy Creek Headwaters Restoration – Phase II
- Alabama Coastal Adaptive Management
“As we celebrate Alabama’s 2022 NFWF project slate and announce the final allocation of Alabama’s share of the Gulf Environmental Benefit Funds, we recognize another milestone in Alabama’s recovery from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster,” Gov. Kay Ivey said in a press release.
Grants make a difference
Over the past decade, NFWF investments have contributed significantly to the long-term sustainability of critical coastal resources in Alabama, including:
- Nearly 9,000 acres of important habitats acquired, conserved, restored or enhanced
- Nearly 11 miles of vulnerable shoreline protected
- Improved water quality through three miles of creek rehabilitation that will avoid 50-70 million pounds of sediment annually
- More than 250 hectares of artificial reef habitat and thousands of artificial reefs installed to increase fish productivity
- Sustainable fisheries management through comprehensive science and monitoring
- Increased capacity and habitat enhancement to strengthen populations of shorebirds, marine mammals and sea turtles
- Restoring more than 800 acres of oyster reef habitat
Since its inception, GEBF has supported 47 natural resource projects in Alabama and worked with 39 implementing partners. These projects leverage or match nearly $200 million in other funding for a total conservation impact of more than $555 million to benefit natural resources negatively impacted by the 2010 oil spill.
“Today’s announcement marks the culmination of investment in heritage preservation in Alabama following the Deepwater Horizon tragedy,” said Jeff Trandahl, Executive Director and CEO of NFWF. “Working closely with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, we have made strategic investments that support fish and wildlife and their habitats. These projects will continue to enhance the productivity and resilience of the Alabama coast for decades to come.”
An interactive story map of Alabama projects supported by GEBF can be found here.
For more information on Alabama coast restoration projects from all of Deepwater Horizon’s funding sources, visit https://www.alabamacoastalrestoration.org.