More than $47 million is coming to Alabama for watershed and habitat restoration along the state’s Gulf Coast, Gov. Kay Ivey has announced.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) recently approved five new projects for the state, selected in coordination with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) and federal resource agencies.
The projects are: Dauphin Island East End Restoration, Phase II, $26.1 million; Lower Fish River Watershed Restoration, Phase II, $9 million; Gulf Highlands Conservation Acquisition, $8.2 million; Wolf and Sandy Creek Headwaters Restoration, Phase II, $2.79 million; and Alabama Coastal Adaptive Management, $1 million.
The projects represent the final funding obligations from NFWF’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (GEBF) for projects in Alabama. This final round brings the total awards to more than $356 million in restoration funding over 10 years to support projects in Alabama from criminal fines related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
“These investments tell a story of significant accomplishments that will go a long way in protecting Alabama’s diverse, coastal ecosystem for decades to come,” Ivey said in a news release.
“Whether it be our investments into maintaining the coastal reefs that support our thriving red snapper fishery, or our land conservation efforts to protect game and non-game species in places like the Perdido River Corridor, Fort Morgan Peninsula and the Grand Bay Savanna, there is no doubt Alabama has made the absolute most of these funds,” Ivey said.
Ivey also recognized state Conservation Commissioner Chris Blankenship and his team and Deepwater Horizon Restoration Coordinator Amy Hunter “for the work they continue to do for the citizens and natural resources of coastal Alabama.”
During the past decade, the NFWF investments have made significant contributions to the long-term sustainability of critical coastal resources in Alabama, the governor’s office said, including:
An interactive story map of Alabama projects supported by GEBF can be found here.
Since its inception, the GEBF has supported 47 natural resource projects in Alabama and worked with 39 partners in implementing the projects. The projects leverage or complement nearly $200 million in other funds for a total conservation impact of more than $555 million to benefit natural resources negatively affected by the 2010 oil spill, officials said.
Jeff Trandahl, NFWF executive director and CEO, said the announcement of the final grants are “the culmination of historic conservation investments in Alabama following the Deepwater Horizon tragedy.”
“Working closely with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, we have made strategic investments that support fish and wildlife and their habitats,” Trandahl said. “These projects will continue to enhance the productivity and resilience of the Alabama coast for decades to come.”
Here are some highlights about the positive impacts of the coastal projects:
For more information about the coastal restoration projects in Alabama from all Deepwater Horizon funding sources, click here.
Alabama Power and its parent Southern Company have maintained a 19-year partnership with NFWF on meaningful environmental protection projects that benefit the region. The partnership includes support for NFWF’s Southeast Aquatics Fund, the Five Star and Urban Water Restoration Grant Program, Bats for the Future Fund, Longleaf Landscape Stewardship Fund and the Atlantic Flyway Shorebird Initiative. Protecting and preserving Alabama’s Gulf Coast is part of Alabama Power’s and Southern Company’s longstanding commitment to communities and the environment.
Learn more about some of Alabama Power environmental stewardship efforts here.