The Future of Our Gulf
The Nature Conservancy believes that, while we cannot put the Gulf ecosystem back to the way it once was, by investing the BP settlement money wisely and using it to leverage other public and private funds to restore the natural systems and features of the Gulf of Mexico, we can produce immense returns for the larger Gulf. We can also make the region’s communities and economies more resilient to ongoing stresses, such as storms and sea-level rise intensified by climate change.
Beginning in 2012, The Nature Conservancy produced “Seize the Moment” which described site-specific project recommendations for Gulf of Mexico restoration. Now that the Deepwater Horizon settlement is in place and the agencies involved are planning and implementing Gulf restoration, the Conservancy has updated and broadened its recommendations for restoring and conserving the Gulf’s natural resources.
In “Our Future Gulf”, we focus on the kinds of actions across the region and within specific watersheds that we believe will:
- Contribute to restoring the ecological and economic health of the Gulf as a whole
- Encourage cooperation across state and agency boundaries
- Create the foundation for long-term Gulf restoration
- Produce tangible and measurable results
“Our Future Gulf” does not recommend specific projects because we believe that projects are best advanced through selection processes now in place for the various Deepwater Horizon funding sources. We hope the proposals set out here, however, will help to advance the framework for the cooperative design and funding of projects that will work in concert to restore and save the overall Gulf ecosystem for its many benefits to people and nature.