Updates on the progress of Gulf restoration nearly four years after the BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster.
We have one Gulf and one chance to restore the natural resources we rely on. There has been some progress in the last four years that we should recognize and celebrate, but there is still a lot of work to do.
Since the onset of the spill, Ocean Conservancy has led the charge for a comprehensive approach to restoration. For us, that means restoration of our coastal communities as well as coastal and marine environments. Four years on, the discussion about coastal restoration and economic recovery has grown more robust, but we still have a long way to go.
Determining the full extent of the impacts from the oil spill will take time, and researchers are just beginning to release their findings. This map illustrates impacts they’ve documented in the region so far, including fish with lesions, impacted bluefin tuna spawning habitat and shifts in whale shark abundance and distribution.
Some impacts from the BP oil disaster, such as oiled animals and damaged coral, are visible. But sometimes we can't see the changes in the environment that are unfolding. Scientists have been working hard in labs to determine the full extent of the BP oil disaster. The graphic above shows some of the preliminary findings scientists are beginning to reveal.
We are still responding to and recovering from the BP oil disaster. As decision-makers begin planning and choosing restoration priorities and projects, Ocean Conservancy and the Gulf of Mexico University Research Collaborative (GOMURC) are working to ensure the waters of the Gulf are part of the plan.
The two groups convened a workshop of experts to identify a list of top restoration projects and approaches to help reverse damage from the BP oil disaster and decades of environmental degradation in offshore areas, and promote the economic value of the Gulf’s natural resources.
The Marine Restoration Workshop Report’s focus on offshore areas is meant to complement the significant coastal wetland restoration planning and implementation efforts already underway, and to serve as a catalog for making investments in the restoration of marine resources.
As recovery from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill continues, it is critical that we begin comprehensive environmental restoration across the Gulf – from coastal wetlands to marine waters and from Texas to Florida.
Ocean Conservancy has joined with a group of conservation, environmental and social equity organizations that have worked to support long-term recovery in the region for decades to create a model portfolio of projects that take an integrated and comprehensive approach toward restoring the Gulf. The coalition believes a program of this type will be most effective in helping to rebuild the region’s ecosystems, economies and communities.