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Home / Lifestyle / Gumphrey's Gaze / Oil spill restoration plan up for comment

Oil spill restoration plan up for comment

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GULF COAST residents will soon have a chance to comment on an all-embracing $8.8 billion ecosystem restoration plan announced for the Gulf of Mexico last week.
Trustees for the Gulf Coast region’s natural resource interests say the plan could allocate $238m for restoration efforts in Texas as part of an agreement to restore natural resource injured by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill using funds from BP compensation for the spill.
The trustees will present the plan to Texans during a public meeting in Galveston on November 10 and have made it available online and at public repositories throughout the region for comment until December 4.
According to the plan, funds will be allocated to meet five goals divided into 13 restoration types covering a broad range of ecosystem impacts at both region and local levels.
The five goals are to restore and conserve habitat, restore water quality, replenish and protect living coastal and marine resources, provide and enhance recreational opportunities and provide for monitoring, adaptive management and administrative oversight to support implementation of the restoration.
Among the 13 proposed restoration types are wetlands, coastal and near-shore habitats and projects for habitat on federally managed lands. Others are aimed at nutrient reduction, water quality and the provision and enhancement of recreational opportunities.
The remaining types aim to restore or conserve the habitats of fish and water-column invertebrates, sturgeon, submerged aquatic vegetation, oysters, sea turtles, marine mammals, birds and low-light and ocean-floor species.
According to the Texas parks and wildlife department, the plan does not identify specific projects for each restoration type but lays out a framework for developing projects in the future.
The meeting at which the plan will be presented for comment to the Texas public will be held at the Hilton Galveston Island hotel, 5400 Seawall Boulevard, Galveston, at 6:00pm on November 10.
To see the restoration plan and its accompanying impact statement, go online to gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov.

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