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
Since 2015, FWC and DEP have 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 restoration needs for 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 the three 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.
FWC and DEP distributed on 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 at Map of Submitted Projects or update existing projects or submit a new project proposal at Submit a Project Proposal.
To receive updates and notifications on GEBF public engagement opportunities, join our GEBF stakeholder email list by emailing Amy Raker.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.