In mid-November, several members of the ELI Gulf Team traveled to Biloxi, MS to attend the 2018 Mississippi Restoration Summit, as well as to meet with representatives from local organizations like Mississippi Coastal Fisheries United (MCFU), Boat People SOS (BPSOS), and the Biloxi NAACP, among others. Both the Summit and these meetings provided opportunities for us to hear from community members about their experiences in the restoration processes and their environmental priorities moving forward.
Read more about our trip in a new blog from Taylor Lilley, one of our new team members.
In the eight years since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, billions of dollars have already been spent on, or designated for, restoration projects, programs, and planning.
A new ELI factsheet breaks down how much of the $16.67 billion in restoration money (from NRDA, RESTORE Act, and NFWF) has been used so far, and where the remaining funds – a total of around $13.5 billion – can be used as restoration continues.
Environmental compliance often requires the participation of several government agencies, and the efficiency of compliance procedures can be improved by early, effective coordination among the various agencies. In our new case study, The Louisiana Coastal Area Study: A Case Study in Interagency Coordination, we examine how the co-location of staff from multiple agencies in a single office helped coordinate them as they worked together to plan a suite of restoration projects along Louisiana’s coast. This co-location aided efficient development of a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, which was then used as a basis for the rapid production of six tiered, project-specific Environmental Impact Statements.
August 2018 In February 2017, ELI released a background paper on Fast-Tracking "Good" Restoration Projects in the Gulf of Mexico, which focused on mechanisms available to fast-track restoration projects that are subject to federal environmental compliance requirements. In that paper, we noted that environmental compliance often requires the participation of multiple government agencies, and that the efficiency of compliance procedures can be improved by early, effective coordination among these agencies. To see an example of this coordination in action, read our new case study from Portland, Oregon, where a group of federal, state, and local agencies formed a "Streamlining Team" to coordinate environmental compliance for City of Portland development projects, resulting in a more efficient permitting process and strengthened relationships between the agencies.
Event on June 6, 2018 in Gulfport, MS
It has been more than eight years since the start of the BP oil spill. In that time, many steps have been taken to restore and recover the Gulf. This includes the approval of numerous plans, programs, and restoration projects. As Gulf restoration and recovery efforts continue to move forward, how can the public engage and help shape restoration?
To help members of the public better understand how to get involved, ELI, along with Environmental Management Services, Mississippi Commercial Fisheries United, and Public Lab, co-sponsored an event on “Engaging in the Gulf Restoration Processes: How the Public Can Help Shape Restoration.” The goal of this event was to provide participants with tools and information that they can use to more effectively engage in the restoration and recovery efforts.
Click here for the draft agenda.
Event on March 27, 2018 in Gulfport, MS
As a result of the BP oil spill, billions of dollars are going to restoration and recovery efforts in the Gulf, with most of that money going to restoration projects. Although there are many different types, restoration projects can be technical and difficult to understand. So how are members of the public supposed to make heads or tails of them?
To help the public better understand how to evaluate restoration projects, the Environmental Law Institute, in partnership with Steps Coalition, Audubon Mississippi, National Wildlife Federation, and Ocean Conservancy, hosted an in-person event in Gulfport, MS on “Making Heads or Tails of BP Oil Spill Restoration Projects.”
The event convened experts to cover topics such as how to navigate through restoration projects to understand when one “good” project could be prioritized over another, how to deal with scientific uncertainty, and how restoration projects work in practice. The goal of this event was to provide participants with tools and information about restoration projects so that they can more effectively engage in the restoration and recovery efforts moving forward.
Click here for agenda