A year after the release of a document planning the first wave of Texas projects funded by settlement money from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion, several projects in the Galveston area already are in progress.
The Texas Trustee Implementation Group will provide an update on the five projects in the Galveston area and eight others in a public meeting Monday night at Texas A&M University at Galveston.
This trustee group, made up of state and federal agencies, oversees the development of the state’s restoration plan.
“This one is more of just a general update of where we are now,” said Julie Hagen, spokeswoman for the Coastal Fisheries Division of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “We’ve already completed some early restoration plans.”
The 2010 BP oil spill caused widespread environmental damage across the Gulf Coast. The resulting $8.8 billion in settlements resulted in several pots of money to fund restoration efforts.
Some of these funds went specifically toward restoration plans in each of the Gulf Coast states affected. Texas received $238 million from the program.
The state’s implementation group selected 13 projects out of 800 suggested for an October document outlining how the group plans to spend the money allotted to Texas.
The 13 projects to be discussed Monday night total an estimated $45.7 million, the first round to receive funding, according to implementation group plan documents.
Some of the projects in the Galveston area already have seen some work, Galveston Bay Foundation President Bob Stokes said.
“It’s sort of an ongoing thing,” Stokes said. “I think the big picture is the money has been going to good projects across the state and we’ve made a good positive difference.”
Five projects fall within the Galveston Bay area. They restore habitat in Bird Island Cove, Essex Bayou, Pierce Marsh and Follets Island, according to the group’s website. An oyster restoration project also received funding, among others.
The Galveston Bay Foundation is involved in several of the projects, Stokes said. Some work already is ongoing, such as for the Pierce Marsh restoration, he said.
“We’ve already done one cycle,” Stokes said. “There’ll be more to do in the future.”
Monday’s meeting is a yearly requirement of the plan, Hagen said.