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About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s (NFWF) Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (GEBF) was established in early 2013 as a result of the plea agreements resolving the criminal charges against BP and Transocean after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The agreements directed a total of $2.54 billion to GEBF over a five-year period. Under the plea agreements, $356 million was allocated for projects within the state of Florida that “remedy harm to natural resources where there has been injury to, or destruction of, loss of, or loss of use of those resources” resulting from the oil spill. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and DEP work directly with NFWF to identify GEBF projects for the state of Florida in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The Florida GEBF Restoration Strategy

In 2015, FWC and DEP received funds from NFWF to develop the Florida GEBF Restoration Strategy. The primary objective of this document is to provide a cohesive vision for planning the remaining GEBF investments in Florida to address resources affected by the DWH oil spill. The Restoration Strategy identifies Gulf of Mexico watershed-specific, priority restoration needs based on a comprehensive review of existing conservation and management plans based on NFWF's GEBF funding priorities:

  • Restore and maintain the ecological functions of landscape-scale coastal habitats, including barrier islands, beaches and coastal marshes, and ensure their viability and resilience against existing and future threats;
  • Restore and maintain the ecological integrity of priority coastal bays and estuaries; and
  • Replenish and protect living resources including oysters, red snapper and other reef fish, Gulf Coast bird populations, sea turtles and marine mammals.  

This effort also funded updates to Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) plans in the Surface Water Improvement and Management – Northwest Florida Water Management District ( and the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) watersheds and a Roadblocks to Seagrass Recovery assessment of estuaries in the Panhandle and Big Bend by FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.

FWC and DEP distributed the Draft Restoration Strategy and conducted a public webinar in September 2016. Over the next year, staff considered comments and suggestions while finalizing the Restoration Strategy, which was completed and distributed in January 2018 followed by a public webinar in February 2018.

The Restoration Strategy includes watershed-specific potential action lists mined from the state project portal as of July 2017. However, new and/or updated projects to the portal will continue to be considered in future GEBF funding cycles. You can view previously submitted projects by clicking on "Map of Submitted Projects" on the top left side of this webpage or update existing projects or submit a new project proposal by clicking on "Submit a Project Proposal".

GEBF Projects in Florida

Since 2013, NFWF has approved 45 projects in Florida with a total current value of nearly ~$290 million. For more information on the below projects, visit

GEBF funding cycles:

2021 (2 new projects)

  • Apalachicola River Ecosystem Land Acquisition & Management (ACTIVE; $32,973,000)
  • Pensacola Bay Living Shoreline Project—White Island Habitat Restoration (ACTIVE; $9,000,000)

2020 (4 new projects, 1 amendment*)

  • Franklin County Living Shoreline (ACTIVE; $8,312,000)
  • Ladson Tract Conservation Easement (ACTIVE; $1,654,000)
  • Marine Mammal Pathobiology Laboratory (ACTIVE; $6,766,000)
  • Restoring Florida’s Shorebird and Seabird Populations Phase II (ACTIVE; $10,100,000)

2019 (6 new projects)

  • Panhandle Dune Restoration (ACTIVE; $6,390,000)
  • Apalachicola Bay Oyster Reef Restoration - Phase II (ACTIVE; $20,057,000)
  • MK Ranch Hydrologic Restoration (ACTIVE; $21,997,000)
  • Apalachicola River Slough Restoration - Phase I (ACTIVE; $5,357,000)
  • St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge Saltmarsh Restoration - Phase I (ACTIVE; $806,000)
  • Wulfert Bayous Bird Nesting Habitat Restoration ​(ACTIVE; $5,309,000)

2018 (7 new projects, 2 amendments)

  • Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge Acquisitions (ACTIVE; $4,507,000)
  • Restoration of Florida's Coastal Dune Lakes – Phase II (ACTIVE; $2,503,000)
  • Eliminating Light Pollution on Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches – Phase III (ACTIVE; $5,000,000)
  • Lake Wimico Acquisition and Management (ACTIVE; $12,225,000)
  • Long-Term Sea Turtle Predation Management (ACTIVE; $4,000,000)
  • Pensacola East Bay Oyster Habitat Restoration – Phase II (ACTIVE; $15,166,000)
  • Southwest Florida Wading Bird Nesting Island Enhancement (ACTIVE; $5,592,000)

2017 (1 new project, 3 amendments)

  • Enhanced Assessment for Recovery of Gulf of Mexico Fisheries – Phase V (ACTIVE; amended 2018; $9,238,100)

2016 (4 new projects, 1 amendment)

  • Enhanced Assessment for Recovery of Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Phase IV (CLOSED; $5,377,245)
  • Enhancement of Sea Turtle Stranding Response Capacity in Florida (ACTIVE; $6,246,200)
  • Restoring Florida's Shorebird & Seabird Populations – Phase I (ACTIVE; $11,250,000)
  • Recovery and Resilience of Oyster Reefs in the Big Bend of Florida (ACTIVE; $8,334,400)

2015 (6 new projects)

  • Eliminating Light Pollution on Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches – Phase II (ACTIVE; amended 2017; $3,072,100)
  • Pensacola East Bay Oyster Habitat Restoration- Phase I (CLOSED; $1,345,587)
  • Enhanced Assessment for Recovery of Gulf of Mexico Fisheries – Phase III (CLOSED; $4,992,564)
  • Water Quality Improvements to Enhance Fisheries Habitat in the Lower Choctawhatchee River Basin – Phase I (ACTIVE; $931,600)
  • Increased Capacity for Marine Mammal Response & Analysis (ACTIVE; amended 2017 and 2020; $6,888,000)
  • Florida Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund Restoration Strategy (CLOSED; $4,514,100)

2014 (9 new projects)

  • Restoration and Management of Escribano Point Coastal Habitat – Phase II (CLOSED; $602,584)
  • Enhanced Assessment for Recovery of Gulf of Mexico Fisheries – Phase II (CLOSED; $2,493,847)
  • Florida Shorebird Conservation Initiative (CLOSED; $1,606,639)
  • Benthic Habitat Mapping, Characterization and Assessment (ACTIVE; $4,477,900)
  • Oyster Reef Habitat Restoration in Saint Andrew Bay (ACTIVE; $1,973,500)
  • Restoration of Florida’s Coastal Dune Lakes- Phase I (ACTIVE; amended 2017; $5,916,000)
  • Bayou Chico Restoration (ACTIVE; $11,032,300)
  • Destin Harbor, Joe’s Bayou, and Indian Bayou Water Quality Improvement (ACTIVE; $3,593,600)
  • Boggy Bayou Watershed Water Quality Improvement (ACTIVE; $4,223,000)

2013 (6 new projects)

  • Restoration and Management of Escribano Point Coastal Habitat - Phase I (ACTIVE; $1,731,000)
  • Government Street Regional Stormwater Pond at Corrine Jones Park (CLOSED; $2,106,500)
  • Apalachicola Bay Oyster Restoration- Phase I (ACTIVE; $4,189,400)
  • Comprehensive Panhandle Coastal Bird Conservation (CLOSED; amended 2016 and 2018; $3,664,450)
  • Eliminating Light Pollution on Sea Turtle Nesting Beaches- Phase I (CLOSED; $1,500,000)
  • Enhanced Assessment for Recovery of Gulf of Mexico Fisheries – Phase I (CLOSED; $1,812,863)

*Amendment year and cost are denoted in the original year of the project.

Last Modified:
August 9, 2023 - 11:28am

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