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Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Restoration << Back to Our Work

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil rig exploded and subsequently sank approximately 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana. Eleven people lost their lives as a result of this disaster and more than 4.9 million barrels of oil were released into the Gulf of Mexico. Coastal Louisiana, the most productive ecosystem in the nation and home to nearly 40% of the nation’s wetlands, was severely affected by this disaster. With respect to the work the CPRA does, the DWH Oil Spill resulted in settlements with multiple responsible parties and associated fines and penalties related to statues including the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA).

In general, there are three programs that govern the selection of DWH-related coastal projects and programs: (1) the Natural Resource Damage Assessment Process (NRDA), which is implemented under OPA; (2) the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012 (the RESTORE Act), which amended the CWA to direct 80% of all civil and administrative penalties associated with the DWH Oil Spill to the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund (RESTORE Trust Fund); and (3) the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (GEBF), which is administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF).

Please click on the tabs above to learn more about each of these programs.

Public Involvement — Submit a Restoration Project

There continue to be multiple opportunities for public involvement throughout the oil spill restoration planning process. Regular updates are provided at the monthly CPRA Board meetings. The CPRA will continue to use these public meetings as a forum to discuss updates in the planning process, to seek public input on restoration efforts, and to solicit restoration project ideas.

Please visit the CPRA calendar for details about additional public meetings specific to DWH oil spill planning. In addition to submitting project ideas during the public meetings, restoration projects may also be submitted electronically to coastal@la.gov.

Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan

As we work to restore our coast from the impacts and losses associated with the DWH oil spill it is important that we have a common vision. The State’s Coastal Master Plan has played and will continue to play a critical role in the selection and development of projects during oil spill restoration planning.