WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Under the terms of the BP settlement agreement announced today by the U.S. Department of Justice, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) expects to receive $2.394 billion over five years from BP as part of its resolution of federal criminal charges stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill.
The agreement must be approved by a federal judge before it becomes final.
NFWF will manage the funds in strict compliance with the terms of the final court-approved settlement. NFWF expects to direct the funds largely to projects, as described today by Attorney General Eric Holder, for "environmental restoration, preservation, and conservation efforts throughout [the Gulf] region – including barrier-island creation and river diversion projects in Louisiana."
"We will work collaboratively with government and private sector stakeholders to ensure these funds are spent effectively and transparently to achieve the best possible outcomes for the Gulf ecosystem, consistent with the terms of the settlement," said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. "To achieve this, we will rely heavily on our established, science-based strategy for identifying and selecting appropriate projects to receive funding, all aimed at ensuring a healthy future for our country's richest marine ecosystem."
NFWF, one of the nation's largest conservation funders, supports conservation efforts in all 50 states, U.S. territories and abroad. Since 2010, it has invested nearly $23 million in the Gulf region, working with a wide network of conservation groups to address the needs of species affected by the oil spill.
The non-profit organization was chartered by Congress in 1984.
Background on The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, one of the nation's largest non-profit funders of conservation projects, was created by the U.S. Congress in 1984 to protect and restore fish and wildlife and their habitats.
We provide grants on a competitive basis to protect imperiled species, promote healthy oceans and waterways, improve wildlife habitat, advance sustainable fisheries and conserve water for wildlife and people. Since its establishment, NFWF has awarded over 12,100 grants to more than 4,000 organizations, leveraging $618 million in federal funds into more than $2.1 billion for conservation through our partnerships.
Additionally, NFWF serves as a neutral, third-party fiduciary to receive, manage and disburse conservation funds arising from legal and regulatory proceedings. . Most often these funds originate from court orders, settlements of legal or administrative cases, regulatory permits, licenses, or conservation and mitigation plans. The funds are managed under NFWF's Impact-Directed Environmental Account (IDEA) program. NFWF works collaboratively with government and the private sector to ensure that funds are spent effectively and transparently on conservation and restoration projects.
NFWF's mandate is to connect government agencies, non-profit organizations, corporations and individuals to combine federal funds with private donations for effective, results-oriented conservation projects.
We focus on the most effective projects using the best science to meet the nation's greatest conservation needs.
We are governed by a 30-member board of directors approved by the Secretary of Interior and including the heads of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA. We have no membership and do not support advocacy or litigation.
NFWF commitment to the Gulf Coast
NFWF is working with government agencies, non-governmental organizations, private individuals and corporations to protect and restore Gulf coast fish, wildlife and their habitats impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.
Our two decades of work on the Gulf Coast propelled NFWF into a leadership role coordinating emergency efforts to minimize the impact of the oil spill on threatened fish, wildlife and habitats and to bolster wildlife populations to ensure their long-term survival.
Since 2010, we have invested $22.9 million in restoration programs for at-risk Gulf birds, sea turtles, fish and other wildlife.
Our projects focus on the species most at risk, and are designed to boost these populations and promote their long-term survival. Strategic investments are being funded through the Recovered Oil Fund for Wildlife and other sources. See the complete list of our projects in the Gulf.
In Gulf coastal waters, wetlands, beaches, and barrier islands, NFWF projects are helping to increase populations among species most affected by the Deepwater Horizon spill. View a map of our Gulf response projects.
Over the past 20 years, NFWF has been a leader in conservation efforts in the Gulf of Mexico, with investments of more than $128 million. More than 450 funded projects have included wetlands management, oyster reef restoration, commercial shrimp license buybacks and the recovery of the Kemp's ridley sea turtle and loggerhead sea turtles. See a map of our history of projects in the Gulf.
Visit our website: www.nfwf.org
Contact: Molly Moore
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Source:National Fish & Wildlife Foundation