DWH NRDA Restoration - Alabama TIG Draft Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge Recreation Enhancements: Supplemental Restoration Plan
A global settlement reached on April 4, 2016 has allowed the trustees to move forward with the Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan/Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PDARP/PEIS). The settlement agreement includes a funding schedule that will extend through 2031. During that timeframe the trustees will provide many opportunities for public participation, such as during plan scoping and when draft restoration plans are available for public review and comment.
Consistent with the PDARP/PEIS, the Alabama Trustee Implementation Group approved a Final Restoration Plan III/Environmental Assessment: Provide and Enhance Recreational Opportunities and Birds. One of the selected projects, the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge Recreation Enhancement- -Mobile Street Boardwalk Project, has had its cost estimate revised due to increased costs of materials and construction.
This Draft Supplemental Restoration Plan provides an Oil Pollution Act Natural Resource Damage Assessment analysis for the two Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge Recreation Enhancement projects considered in the third Restoration Plan. This Draft Supplemental Restoration Plan updates the estimated cost to complete both of the Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge boardwalk projects, evaluates both projects at their revised costs, and proposes to fund an increase in the budget for the Mobile Street Boardwalk project of approximately $2 million. The proposed budget increase is a result of unforeseen circumstances since the time of the project's approval in December 2019, including the COVID-19 pandemic's effect on the availability and cost of labor and materials, hurricane damage, and a better understanding of the project's complexity.
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill was the largest maritime oil spill in U.S. history. It resulted in the discharge of millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Under the Oil Pollution Act, those responsible for an oil spill incur liability to clean up the oil and to restore injured public natural resources. As a result, federal and state natural resource trustees, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, the US Department of Agriculture, and trustee agencies from the states of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, are leading efforts to assess and restore affected Gulf resources.