Greater New Orleans, Inc. Recognizes Horizon Oil Spill 10-year Anniversary

This week, Greater New Orleans, Inc. is recognizing the 10-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The final settlement resulted in Louisiana receiving over $7.29 billion in funding for coastal restoration.

Michael Hecht, President and CEO, GNO, Inc. said, “The Deepwater Horizon oil spill presented a significant challenge for the Gulf Coast, threatening to alter Louisiana’s economic outlook. Over the past 10 years, we have had the opportunity to not only bring our communities back, but we have introduced better resilience practices across the board. This is great news for the Gulf and for all Americans who depend on our region for commerce and security.”

To date, Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) has dispersed over $5 billion of these funds—creating or benefitting more that 150,000 acres of coastal wetlands and resulting in the advancement of significant Coastal Master Plan projects, including: 9 projects completed totaling $555 million 12 projects in or near construction phase totaling $320 million 26 projects in engineering & design totaling $4.21 billion

This impressive litany of projects is a testament to Louisiana’s focus on rebuilding the coast. In the aftermath of the oil spill, Louisiana has seized the chance to accelerate the restoration work already underway as part of the State’s Coastal Master Plan. In addition to the significant environmental impacts that have been achieved over the last 10 years, GNO, Inc. and economic development partners have also recognized the impact ecosystem restoration could also have on our regional economy— creating a skilled workforce and specialized local industry around some of the most challenging environmental issues in the world. Based on GNO, Inc.’s 2019 Coastal Jobs Report and analysis of the Coastal Master Plan projects, it is anticipated for coastal restoration projects and investments in Greater New Orleans to result in 3,092 annually sustained jobs.

To highlight and advance the connection between economic development and environmental restoration, in 2014 GNO, Inc. created the Coalition for Coastal Resilience and Economy (CCRE)—a neutral voice of business community support for coastal restoration. Through CCRE, GNO, Inc. has aligned the voices of the business community in key coastal restoration priorities. Over the last five years, CCRE has:

Successfully advocated for the passage of the 2017 Costal Master Plan as well as CPRA Annual Plans from 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 Supported CPRA and coastal partners in advancing GOMESA Legislation at the federal level Advocated directly to the Department of Commerce for fair share revenues for Louisiana through the RESTORE Council

Moving forward, CCRE will continue to advocate for coastal restoration programs which will provide workforce opportunities, industry export potential, and better protection measures for the Louisiana coast: all increasingly relevant efforts in light of the economic recovery from the current coronavirus crisis.

“We commend our federal, state and local leadership for being champions of this vital cause— creating a foundation for the long-term economic and environmental security of our region and state. Investing in our coast is essential as we work towards recovering from this latest disaster, and GNO, Inc. will continue to advocate for additional federal infrastructure funding for science-based solutions to our coastal land loss,” Hecht added.

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