About RESTORE the Texas Coast

The Texas Coastal ecosystem is vital to our Nation and our economy, providing valuable natural resources, abundant seafood, extraordinary beaches and recreational activities, and a rich cultural heritage. Despite this vibrancy, the region’s ecosystem has endured significant natural catastrophes over the past decade and other factors that have threatened the natural resources of the region.

The Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill began with the explosion of the Macondo exploratory well off the coast of Louisiana on April 20, 2010. The explosion killed 11 workers. The resulting blowout at the wellhead more than a mile below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico caused the largest oil spill in American history. The oil flowed into the Gulf for almost three months before the well was contained. The well discharged millions of barrels of oil. Cleanup of oil is still ongoing in some areas.

The entities responsible for the cleanup and damage from the DWH oil spill are the “responsible parties” or “RPs” under the federal Oil Pollution Act (OPA). The responsible parties are also responsible for restoring lost natural resources. For the DWH oil spill, the responsible parties are owners and operators of the Macondo oil rig, including British Petroleum (BP), MOEX, Halliburton, and Transocean.

The DWH oil spill and its aftermath created a unique set of circumstances for funding Gulf restoration projects. The funds will be paid by the parties responsible for the spill as natural resource damages, civil fines, or criminal penalties. The resolution of civil claim totals for entities held responsible for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill will yield more than $20 billion, the largest civil penalties ever awarded under any environmental statute, and the largest recovery of damages for injuries to natural resources of The United States. Of these penalties, the RESTORE Act will provide $5.33 billion (80 percent of $6.659 billion) to the federal RESTORE Trust Fund, based on the following: $1 billion (plus interest) in civil penalties from Transocean Deepwater Inc. and related entities; $159.5 billion from Anadarko Petroleum Corporation; and $5.5 billion (plus interest) from BP Exploration and Production, Inc. (BP) to be paid over a fifteen-year period beginning in 2017.

The complexities of this funding and how it will be spent pose many challenges. To facilitate the public’s understanding of the various DWH oil spill funding sources the state, in consultation with federal authorities, is working cooperatively to provide the public with information about the availability of funding.

Included in this website is information on three funding sources: NFWF/GEBF, NRDA, and the RESTORE Act. This website, along with the associated links to other websites, provides information on the different requirements for funding from each of the three sources, as well as information on the varied stages of the availability of funds. To provide the most current information, the website will be updated as needed.