DWH NRDA Restoration - Louisiana TIG Phase 2 Draft Restoration Plan/EA #1.1: Queen Bess Island Restoration
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 (OPA), each party responsible for a vessel or facility from which oil is discharged, or which poses the substantial threat of a discharge, is liable for, among other things, removal costs and damages for injury to, destruction of, loss, or loss of use of natural resources, including the reasonable cost of assessing the damage. Pursuant to OPA, federal and state natural resource trustees, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and trustee agencies from the states of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, were charged with assessing and restoring for injuries to affected Gulf resources.
Under a global settlement reached on April 4, 2016, the Trustees released 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 this timeframe the trustees will provide many opportunities for public participation, including the opportunity to submit project ideas and proposals and to comment on draft restoration plans
Consistent with the PDARP/PEIS, the Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group has prepared the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group Phase 2 Draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment #1.1: Queen Bess Island Restoration. The Draft Restoration Plan #1.1 evaluates two alternatives for restoration of bird habitat, plus a no action alternative. The preferred alternative would create 30 acres of brown pelican habitat and 7 acres of tern and skimmer habitat. The total estimated cost of the preferred alternative is $18.71 million. This includes an estimated $2 million in engineering and design expended in line with the Phase 1 Final Restoration Plan 1, and $16,710,000 being sought for construction, construction oversight, operations, maintenance, monitoring, adaptive management, and any future engineering and design costs.