On December 14th, the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Trustees released the Deepwater Horizon Draft Phase I Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment (DERP/EA) for public comment. The plan proposes the initial eight projects – two each in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi – to receive funding from the $1 billion Early Restoration Framework Agreement announced by the Trustees and BP on April 21, 2011. The proposed projects include shoreline marsh creation, coastal dune habitat restoration, nearshore artificial reef creation, oyster cultch restoration and construction of boat ramp facilities. The Trustees will hold 12 public meetings in January and February 2012 throughout Gulf Coast communities and in Washington, D.C. to solicit formal public comment on the DERP/EA.

Florida’s meeting will be held on Jan 11 in Fort Walton Beach and Jan 12 in Pensacola.

Visit www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov to view the DERP/EA, access public meeting details, view additional details of the proposed Early Restoration projects, and submit public comment. The public comment period will end February 14, 2012.