The Deepwater Horizon oil spill Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees (Trustees) have settled with BP for natural resource injuries stemming from the spill. This settlement concludes the largest natural resource damage assessment ever undertaken. The Trustee Council will now begin implementing restoration as laid out in the comprehensive restoration plan.

The Trustees recognize the historic significance of this settlement—the largest recovery of damages ever for injuries to natural resources. This settlement is a momentous step towards restoring the Gulf of Mexico– bringing an unprecedented amount of funding dedicated to this iconic ecosystem.

Image credit: NOAA Gulf Spill Restoration

The Trustees would not have reached this day without the commitment of thousands of people at the local, state, and federal levels who contributed their expertise to formulate the restoration plan. The Trustees owe them a debt of gratitude and a pledge to continue to do all we can to restore the Gulf of Mexico for the benefit of its natural resources and those that depend on them for their livelihood and recreational use.

Under this settlement, BP will pay the Trustees up to $8.8 billion for restoration to address natural resource injuries. The settlement includes:

• $1 billion already committed during early restoration
• $7.1 billion for restoration over 15-plus years, beginning in April 2017
• Up to an additional $700 million to respond to natural resource damages unknown at the time of the agreement and/or to provide for adaptive management

The Trustees undertook an ecosystem approach to assessing the natural resources negatively impacted by the spill. This settlement shaped the Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, finalized in February 2016. The Trustees considered more than 6,300 public comments when finalizing the plan.

Last month, the Trustees made a final decision to select the comprehensive, integrated, ecosystem restoration alternative laid out in the final plan as our approach for restoration implementation. This decision has been approved by the court, and the case is settled. The Trustees can now begin implementing restoration as laid out in the final plan. The Trustees will continue to solicit input from the public as we begin to develop project-specific restoration plans.

For more information about this agreement and next steps, click here.

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