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Designing the Strategy To Restore the Florida Gulf


  • The Gulf Environmental Benefits Fund restores damaged natural resources.
  • Abt helped Florida prioritize how to spend its funds.
  • We helped set priorities, reviewed proposals, and solicited stakeholder input.
The Challenge

On April 20, 2010, the offshore oil drilling platform Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, causing the largest oil spill in U.S. history. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Gulf Environmental Benefits Fund administers one of three funds created to restore the coast’s natural resources. Two Florida agencies coordinated the restoration strategy and sought a science-based strategy to provide recommendations for allocating $356 million to restoration projects in Florida.

The Approach

Abt Associates helped the agencies finalize an initial approach using information in existing restoration plans to identify priority restoration needs in Gulf of Mexico watersheds. We then reviewed more than 1,400 potential project ideas submitted through an online portal. We screened them for potential relevance and identified which restoration needs each project would potentially address.

The Results

We developed a report summarizing this effort, and co-led a public webinar to present the draft restoration strategy and solicit input from stakeholders. The fund now supports restoration projects along the coast to restore habitat. Learn more: