Gulf Oil Spill annual meeting is online July 16

Gulf Oil Spill annual meeting is online July 16
The Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustee Council will hold its fifth annual public meeting from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on July 16 via webinar. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustee Council will hold its fifth annual public meeting from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. July 16 via webinar.

The council will present updates on the progress made in each of the seven restoration areas, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said in a news release. The online meeting will also be the annual public meeting for the Regionwide Trustee Implementation Group. There will be opportunity for public comment after the updates are presented.

The federal Oil Pollution Act of 1990 authorized certain federal agencies, states and Indian tribes – collectively known as natural resource trustees – to evaluate the impact of oil spills and to plan and carry out restoration efforts.

After the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, federal and state agencies formed the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustee Council. The council studied the effects of the oil spill and continues to restore the Gulf of Mexico to the condition it would have been in if the spill had not happened, NOAA said.

Following the $8.8 billion settlement with BP in 2016, Alabama was allocated $296 million to focus on restoring and conserving habitat and replenishing and protecting wildlife, such as sea turtles, marine mammals, birds and oysters, NOAA said. The funding provides for enhanced recreational opportunities, restoring water quality and wildlife habitats.

The Alabama Trustee Implementation Group in December 2019 released its third comprehensive restoration plan and environmental assessment for improvements along the state’s Gulf Coast and adjacent waterways harmed by the oil spill. The detailed document is available online at the NOAA Gulf Spill Restoration site.

The trustees continue to work together as a council and publish summary notes of their meetings. They have approved standard operating procedures for the long-term management, implementation and administration of settlement funds for natural resource restoration.

When registering for the July 16 virtual meeting at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1881382450217588751, additional questions on the page will provide an opportunity to sign up for public comment. Those signing up to comment will receive a follow-up email with additional instructions. Anyone unsure if they would like to make a comment will have the opportunity during the webinar.

Registrants will receive a confirmation email with information on how to join. NOAA recommends doing a GoToWebinar system check before attending.

After the webinar, a follow-up email with the presentation and other materials will be available.

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