The shoreline restoration funding comes from a settlement with BP following a 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico
McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge, Texas, has received funding to restore 20 miles of shoreline and wetland habitat. The project will include elevating the beach to protect the freshwater marshland and the initial project will focus on 17 miles of shoreline from High Island, Texas, to Sea Rim State Park just southwest of Sabine Lake. Officials hope the restored shoreline and marshland will serve as a natural defense against future storms.
“This restored beach and dune system provides for a healthy marsh,” said Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush. “Which is key to storm surge protection for thousands of Jefferson County homes and business.”
The funding comes from a 2016 settlement with oil distributor BP, following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in April 2010, which released roughly 3.19 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, according to The Houston Chronicle. As part of the settlement, BP must pay up to $8.8 billion over the next 15 years and $26.5 million of that settlement is funding the restoration project. In total to date, the refuge has received more than $50 million from the BP settlement. Ironically, the very incident which damaged the gulf’s shoreline may be helping to restore it now.