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January 10, 2012 | 3 Comments

DEEPWATER HORIZON-NRDA FL PUBLIC MEETINGS This Week

MEDIA ADVISORY: Jan. 10, 2012

CONTACT: DEP Press Office, 850.245.2112, DEPNews@dep.state.fl.us

DEEPWATER HORIZON NATURAL RESOURCE TRUSTEES HOST PUBLIC MEETINGS
~Public meetings in Ft. Walton Beach and Pensacola to solicit public comment on Early Restoration of the Gulf~

TALLAHASSEE – The Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Trustees (Trustees), including the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, released the Deepwater Horizon Draft Phase I Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment (DERP/EA) on Dec. 15, 2011.To facilitate public comment on Early Restoration, the Trustees will hold a series of 12 public meetings across the Gulf States. The first two meetings take place in Florida this week.

The DERP/EA is the first in an anticipated series of plans to begin restoration of the Gulf of Mexico to compensate for natural resource injuries, including the loss of human use of Gulf resources, from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.
The DERP/EA describes the initial projects proposed to receive funding from the $1 billion Early Restoration agreement announced by the Trustees and BP on April 21, 2011. The DERP/EA describes eight proposed projects for the initial round of Early Restoration, two each in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi.
These projects reflect the ideas and input received by the Trustees through project solicitation and outreach efforts. The proposed projects include shoreline marsh creation, coastal dune habitat restoration, nearshore artificial reef creation, oyster cultch restoration and construction of boat ramp facilities. The total estimated cost of the proposed initial suite of projects is more than $57 million.

Public meetings will be held:
Jan. 11, 2012
Emerald Coast Convention Center
1250 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548
6 – 9 p.m. CST Open House
7 p.m. CST Informational presentation and verbal public comment period begins.

Jan. 12, 2012
University of West Florida Conference Center
11000 University Parkway
Pensacola, FL 32514
6 – 9 p.m. CST Open House
7 p.m. CST Informational presentation and verbal public comment period begins.

Visit www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov to view the DERP/EA, access public meeting details, and view additional details of the proposed Early Restoration projects and ways to submit public comment. The public comment period will end Feb. 14, 2012.

3 thoughts on “DEEPWATER HORIZON-NRDA FL PUBLIC MEETINGS This Week

  1. christian wagley says:

    Please turn-out for these meetings! Right now the plan is to use the first installment of money to fund what are basically development projects: 1) dune construction to protect buildings built too close to the Gulf on Pensacola Beach, and 2) new boat ramps in Escambia County. Neither of these projects will provide any benefits to water quality or will repair damage caused by the BP spill. Please attend these meetings and send-in written comments demanding that monies be spent on restoration and water quality improvements, not on development projects.

  2. Ericka Canales says:

    While we do agree that many of the project are not truly repairing the damages BP has cost our community, we do believe the amount of damage done to the dune habitat by tractors and other vehicles does warrant the need for dune repair as this is essential habitat for coastal species. We as an organization are not opposed to this type of project. It is the large beach fill projects we are opposed to using BP money for as it is totally unrelated to their damages.

  3. Mirian says:

    I racell that the very same problem was encountered after the Exxon Mobil spill in 1989. Scientific integrity was simply a competing interest against the need to minimize the damage assessment and “make it go away.” One of the most harmful affects on marine life along the coastline wasn’t the oil itself, it was the steam cleaning that was done – very high temperature water at high pressure was used to sterilize the rocks and sand, killing every single microbe, every bit of phytoplankton and zooplankton, every tiny living critter. We handled beach cleaning like you’d clean the side of a concrete building or pressure wash a deck. So there was no or very little opportunity to study how fast the natural processes of decomposition could work, no attempt to look at best possible methods for the ecosystems themselves: the primary objective was to make the oil “disappear” from sight, and to get out of having to pay damages as much as possible. So, once again, the same old same old is at play, just a different variation on the theme. When will we ever learn? My money is on “never.”

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