Publications & Resources

Gulf Restoration: Fundamental or Fleeting?

November 2020

A National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Committee on Long-Term Environmental Trends in the Gulf of Mexico has embarked on a new study to “assess the cumulative effects of multiple restoration projects” on the Gulf coast. As background research for the study, the Committee held a meeting with academics and practitioners to shed light on whether and how restoration projects might be impacted by both short- and long-term changes. The findings presented were dramatic and sobering, and further underscore the necessity of pursuing comprehensive efforts to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the worst-case scenarios. Check out Jarryd Page's new blog on restoration in a changing climate.

Public Participation at a Distance: Engaging in Gulf Restoration Processes During the Pandemic

July 2020

Public meetings are a fundamental component of many policymaking and planning processes, including the natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) process that aims to restore the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem and facilitate the permitting and environmental review procedures for individual projects. Under the NRDA governance structure, the trustees are required to hold annual meetings, and since 2016 the Trustee Council has held a public meeting in the Gulf region every year as a way for the public to engage in restoration. Read Stephanie Oehler's blog to learn about public meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 and Gulf Resiliency

May 2020

The Gulf Coast is no stranger to disaster. Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the BP oil spill in 2010, Hurricane Harvey in 2017 have all left their mark on communities from Florida to Texas. The COVID-19 pandemic adds another layer of complexity to Gulf Coast resiliency.

Gulf Restoration & Recovery: 10-Year Review

April 2020

Building upon last month's fact sheets, we have released more updated numbers analyzing how much of the $16.67 billion has been spent in the Gulf, and how much still remains in NRDA, RESTORE, and NFWF. This month's materials include more detailed breakdowns and updates about the status of restoration project funding through each of the three main federal processes, as well as updated information on how the public can engage in these processes. Visit our publications page to find more resources.

Overview of Gulf Restoration Spending – New Fact Sheets

March 2020

In March, ELI released the initial set of updated numbers analyzing how much of the $16.67 billion has been spent in the Gulf, and how much still remains. As of March 1, 2020, around $4.658 billion of this money has now been spent on, or designated for, specific restoration projects, programs, and planning. That means approximately $12.015 billion remains to be spent. These updated fact sheets also break down how much money has been spent by or committed to individual states and NRDA restoration areas through these three processes.

Environmental Review in the Gulf: How Might Revised NEPA Regulations Impact Coastal Restoration?

February 2020

Last month, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) proposed a rule that would considerably change the implementing regulations of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (ELI’s guide to the proposed regulations is available here). NEPA requires that major Federal actions undergo environmental review before being carried out. The review process involves examining environmental impacts and alternative actions, consulting interested parties, and identifying mitigation; and, while procedural in scope, it aims to ensure that environmental considerations are incorporated in government decisionmaking.

Workshops & Events

Coastal Resilience in the Gulf: Tools that Help Incorporate Projected Levels of Flooding into Planning

Event on November 18, 2020 via Webinar

A webinar hosted by the Environmental Law Institute focused on how to consider the projected levels of flooding in coastal Mississippi when planning infrastructure, including transportation infrastructure. In an earlier webinar, we explored the importance of considering flooding projections during the planning process—this one focused on concrete tools that can help communities do just that.

The material presented explained why it is important to incorporate projected levels of flooding into planning and what types of data should be considered. The webinar focused on the specific tools that can be used to incorporate projected levels of flooding into planning, introducing the Gulf TREE tool selection resource, explained how different tools work, and offered concrete examples of when and how to utilize various tools.

For presentation slides and a recording of the webinar, click here.

Coastal Resilience in the Gulf: Incorporating Projected Levels of Flooding into Planning

Event on August 18, 2020 via Webinar

A webinar hosted by the Environmental Law Institute focused on why it is important to consider the projected levels of flooding in coastal Mississippi when planning infrastructure, including transportation infrastructure.

The webinar covered the current levels of flooding in coastal Mississippi, how those levels are increasing, why it is useful to incorporate the projected levels of flooding into planning as a matter of policy, and previewed the tools that can be used. This webinar also explained the role and certain duties of local governments in maintaining infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, making infrastructure more resilient, and provide examples.

For presentation slides and a recording of the webinar, click here.

Resilient Approaches for Municipalities to Address Flooding in Mississippi: Green Infrastructure and Wetlands

Event on February 14, 2020 via Webinar

A webinar hosted by the Environmental Law Institute and the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio explored tools for municipalities (and their NGO partners) looking to address flooding in coastal Mississippi, with a primary focus on green infrastructure and wetlands. 

The webinar featured examples of green infrastructure projects and economic benefits of green infrastructure solutions. Panelists also provided information on how municipalities can improve infrastructure resilience by considering extreme weather events and increased precipitation during planning; the identification and strategic preservation of wetlands to maximize protection from flooding; and funding that may be available for projects that address flooding at the municipal or neighborhood level.  

For presentation slides and a recording of the webinar, click here.