The restoration of the Gulf of Mexico is expected to get a boost as a result of an agreement between the Natural Resource Trustees for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and BP.
The agreement, announced on April 21, stipulates that BP will pay $1 billion for “early” restoration projects related to the Gulf spill. According to administration officials, BP is providing the restoration funds voluntarily.
“This agreement accelerates our work on Gulf Coast restoration and in no way limits the ability of all the Natural Resource Trustees from seeking full damages from those who are responsible as the process moves forward,” said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in a statement.
The trustees—Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, the Dept. of the Interior and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—will use the money to fund projects to rebuild coast marshes, replenish damaged beaches and restore barrier islands and wetlands.
Projects will be selected through a public process that will be overseen by the trustees. Each of the five states will receive $100 million to fund projects; NOAA and DOI will each select and implement $100 million in projects, and spend the remaining $300 million on projects submitted by state trustees.