Public comments are being accepted on a draft plan for science in support of restoration efforts of the Gulf of Mexico in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The federal government’s plan outlines long-term research priorities for the Gulf, including providing fisheries and natural resource managers with needed information for decision-making, better understanding the connections of Gulf physical and living systems, and improving predictions of climate impacts.

The National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which drafted the science plan, states that it sought to avoid “duplicating the priorities of other Gulf of Mexico science programs especially those created in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, such as the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative, the National Academy of Sciences Gulf Research Program and those funded through the on-going Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment.”

The plan will serve as the basis of NOAA’s future funding opportunities in the region. The program will be funded by the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund, comprised of civil penalties paid by parties responsible for the oil spill. To date, NOAA has received $20 million from the settlement with Transocean, with more funding expected from the case against BP.

More information about the plan and how to submit comments are available at https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2014-25797.pdf.

 


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