Gulf Coast Oil Spill Restoration Funding Supports Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge
In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill desecrated the Gulf Coast, disturbing fragile ecosystems, impacting wildlife habitat and disrupting local eco-tourism and private business that rely on a bountiful coast to thrive. To combat this devastation, land protection and coastal restoration has become a clear priority in Alabama and beyond.
In partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, we were able to purchase and transfer 470-acres to become part of the Refuge. At the request of the Service and the State of Alabama, we transferred the property in two phases thanks to funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, which was established by a federal court order addressing criminal cases related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
WHY THIS PROJECT MATTERS
The newly conserved property features a variety of coastal habitats including shoreline, pine flatwoods, saltwater marsh, freshwater lagoons and wetlands, dune systems, maritime forests, and tidal creeks. The living shorelines and interior terrain provides ideal habitats for several threatened or endangered species, including young adult Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, snowy plover, piping plover, Wilson’s plover, and the Alabama beach mouse. The land also has the potential to benefit manatees migrating through the northern gulf, and ultimately increases the protected coastal habitat at the Little Point Clear Unit for wildlife and public recreation by approximately 25 percent.
Learn more about how Bon Secour’s bountiful resources mutually benefit the Gulf Coast’s environment and economy: https://www.conservationfund.org/blog/community-development/2033-preserving-the-gulf-coast-s-bountiful-resources
Ray Herndon Jr.
Vice President, Lower Mississippi and Gulf Coast Region, Conservation Acquisition