$18 million has been approved to begin the five Texas-based projects established to reimburse the state after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which caused loss of capitalization on available resources. These projects are part of a bigger set of plans spanning across the Gulf, estimating around $627 million. 63% of the budget is allocated for ecological losses, and the remaining 37% will address lost recreational services.
In 2011 BP designated $1 billion for funding early restoration projects in the Gulf, specifically to address the restoration process before an injury assessment was rendered or completed. This is the first early restoration phase with Texas-based projects, which follow two previous phases that totaled $71 million. Work on Texas projects is expected to begin in 2015.The five projects are listed as such, below:
“Galveston Island State Park Beach Redevelopment (Galveston County). The project will construct multi-use campsites, tent campsites, equestrian facilities, beach access via dune walk-over boardwalks and other recreational enhancements on the Gulf side of Galveston Island State Park. The purpose is to enhance recreational opportunities and to increase access to the Gulf. Early restoration funding for this project: $10.7 million.
Sea Rim State Park Improvements (Jefferson County). The project will construct facilities to provide enhanced recreational experiences within Sea Rim State Park, including a fish cleaning station, vault toilet, and two wildlife viewing platforms. These improvements will provide amenities to enhance fishing experiences, wildlife and habitat observation, and overall recreational opportunities. Early restoration funding for this project: $210,000.
Ship Reef/Corpus Reef (federal waters /Nueces County). The Ship Reef project will enhance fishing and diving opportunities by sinking a suitable ship at least 200 feet long to create an artificial reef approximately 67 miles offshore of Galveston. If the Ship Reef Project becomes infeasible (for example, if an appropriate ship cannot be acquired) , an alternative reef project off Corpus Christi will be implemented instead. The Corpus Reef would increase the amount of concrete pyramids (artificial reef materials) at an existing artificial reef site approximately 11 miles from Packery Channel (, near Corpus Christi Bay. Early restoration funding for either alternative: $1.9 million.
Freeport Artificial Reef (Brazoria County). This project will increase the amount of reef materials in a currently permitted artificial reef site, the George Vancouver (Liberty Ship) Artificial Reef, approximately 6 miles from Freeport, placing concrete pyramids (artificial reef materials) at a water depth of 55 feet. Early restoration funding for this project: $2.2 million.
Matagorda Artificial Reef (Matagorda County). This project will create a new artificial reef site approximately 10 miles offshore of Matagorda County, Texas, through deployment of concrete pyramids (artificial reef materials) at a water depth of 60 feet. Early restoration funding for this project: $3.6 million.”