Six coastal restoration projects totaling $63 million have been approved by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), Gov. Robert Bentley announced Tuesday.
Separate from the RESTORE Act and Alabama’s own settlements with BP and Transocean, the funds are being made available through the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund NFWF uses to manage criminal fines brought against both companies in U.S. District Court in 2013.
A total of $356 million was awarded to Alabama, and so far, that has manifested itself in funding for 19 coastal restoration projects with a combined value exceeding $115 million.
The projects funded in the latest allocation from NFWF include:
— Multifaceted fisheries and ecosystem monitoring in Alabama waters and the Gulf of Mexico, $4.4 million. This will be the third and fourth years of fisheries monitoring.
— Bon Secour-Oyster Bay wetland acquisition, $12.5 million. The project will protect and restore about 935 acres of diverse coastal habitat in the city of Gulf Shores.
— Dauphin Island conservation acquisition, $3.5 million. The project includes the acquisition of about eight acres of remaining undeveloped beachfront on mid-Dauphin Island, and will include the construction of fencing and a dune walkover.
— Lightning Point acquisition and restoration, $6 million. The project includes the acquisition of more than 100 acres of coastal habitat to restore a stretch of shoreline at the mouth of Bayou La Batre River.
— Gulf Highlands conservation acquisition, $36 million. The money is to acquire and manage 113 acres, the largest privately held undeveloped beachfront remaining in coastal Alabama.
— Fowl River Watershed restoration: Coastal spits and wetlands, Phase 1, $1 million. This is the engineering and design phase to stabilize spits and marshland in lower Fowl River.