Fifth Anniversary of the BP Oil Spill – Restoring the Gulf of Mexico and its Coastline

The Nature Conservancy Looks at How well Those Projects Have Been Progressing
Audio: 
Alex Littlejohn, Associate Director of The Nature Conservancy in Mississippi


(New Orleans, LA, Thursday, April 16, 2015)
– In the five years since the tragedy of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, 116 restoration projects have received oil-spill funding. At the same time, multiple federal, state and local agencies, non-profit organizations, and coalitions have developed strategic plans and visions for restoring and conserving the Gulf of Mexico and lands along its coastline.

In a new report, Charting Restoration, The Nature Conservancy looks at how well those projects have matched up with the priorities identified in the comprehensive restoration plans that have been developed. Some match exactly, others have yet to receive funding.

Alex Littlejohn, Associate Director of The Nature Conservancy in Mississippi, explains the importance of making sound decisions on the economic and ecological restoration of the Gulf.

SOUNDBITE #1:

WE HAVE A ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY TO RESTORE THE GULF COAST. THE VISIONS AND PLANS FOR RESTORATION, THEY RANGE IN SCOPE AND SCALE FROM IDENTIFYING STRATEGIC LAND CONSERVATION, COASTAL PROTECTION, TO ECOLOGICAL RESTORATION. IF LOCAL, STATE AND FEDERAL AGENCIES MAKE DECISIONS ABOUT THE USE OF DEEPWATER HORIZON-RELATED FUNDING,  IT’S CRITICAL THAT THESE DECISIONS BE BACKED BY THE KINDS OF SCIENCE, PUBLIC INPUT AND RESEARCH REPRESENTED IN THESE PLANS.

SOUNDBITE #2:

THE RESTORE PROCESS AND FUNDING DECISIONS ARE AN OPPORTUNITY TO ACCELERATE THE GULF OF MEXICO’S RESTORATION. EXISTING STATE, FEDERAL, NONPROFIT, AND COMMUNITY PLANS AND VISIONS CAN BE USED TO CREATE PRACTICAL GUIDELINES FOR GULF RESTORATION THAT WILL PROTECT THE GULF COAST’S ECONOMY AND WAY OF LIFE FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS.

For more information, visit www.nature.org.

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