Gulf of Mexico Events

This page serves as an archive of past ELI events focusing on Gulf of Mexico restoration. Click on the heading link for each webinar to access expanded descriptions, event agendas, speakers bios as well as recordings, if available. 


Integrating Nature-Based Goals in Hazard Mitigation Plans  (recording available)
May 26, 2021

From 2016–2020, the United States experienced an approximate average of 16 weather or climate-related disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion. Due to climate change, costly natural disasters are occurring more frequently, and 2020 set a new record with 22 billion-dollar disasters. Recently, increased emphasis has been placed on nature-based hazard mitigation solutions, including the restoration of wetlands and floodplains, as cost-effective strategies for addressing the impacts of future disasters. Nature-based mitigation strategies can help reduce the likelihood of and minimize negative impacts when they do occur. These strategies also provide environmental and social co-benefits, such as increasing habitat and biodiversity, and creating recreational spaces for communities.

This webinar explores how states and local governments are integrating nature-based goals and actions in hazard mitigation plans and provides key examples of ongoing projects and capacity-building efforts that are furthering the state of nature-based hazard mitigation practices.

The Future of Gulf Resilience - What Data and Partnerships are Still Needed 
May 19, 2021

This webinar focused on the data and partnerships that are still needed to further advance resilience. Specifically, the webinar covered information about the Coastal Coupling Community of Practice, compound flooding, and what data should be developed to supplement the data that’s already available. Panelists discussed the role of partnerships in the successful implementation of resilience projects, the types of partnerships that have worked in the past, and what lessons can be learned to build and improve partnerships in the future. 

Gulf Resilience: South Atlantic Coastal Study
March 4, 2021

This webinar focused on the results of the South Atlantic Costal Study, led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as it applies specifically to the Mississippi coast (Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson counties), with particular attention on the focus areas identified in the study, the Biloxi-Gulfport area and the Greater Pascagoula area. 


Coastal Resilience in the Gulf: Tools that Help Incorporate Projected Levels of Flooding into Planning 
November 18, 2020

This webinar outlined how to consider the projected levels of flooding in coastal Mississippi when planning infrastructure, including transportation infrastructure. The material presented explained why it is important to incorporate projected levels of flooding into planning and what types of data should be considered. The webinar then focused on the specific tools that can be used to incorporate projected levels of flooding into planning, introducing the Gulf TREE tool selection resource, explaining how different tools work, and offering concrete examples of when and how to utilize various tools.

Costal Resilience in the Gulf: Incorporating Projected Levels of Flooding into Planning
August 18, 2020

This webinar focused on why it is important to consider the projected levels of flooding in coastal Mississippi when planning infrastructure, including transportation infrastructure. The material presented covered the current levels of flooding in coastal Mississippi, how those levels are increasing, why it is useful to incorporate the projected levels of flooding into planning as a matter of policy, and a preview about the tools that can be used. 

Resilient Approaches for Municipalities to Address Flooding in Mississippi: Green Infrastructure and Wetlands  (recording available)
February 14, 2020

This webinar convened experts to discuss green infrastructure and wetlands as useful approaches for municipalities to protect themselves from further flooding and make their communities more resilient. Specifically, the webinar provided information about different types of green infrastructure, as well as conventional methods to address flooding, examples of implemented green infrastructure projects, economic benefits of green infrastructure solutions, the importance of considering of extreme weather events when developing infrastructure, wetlands as natural barriers to flooding, and funding mechanisms that allow municipalities to submit project ideas that address flooding.


Engaging in the Gulf Restoration Processes: How the Public Can Help Shape Restoration
June 6, 2018

This webinar took place more than eight years after the start of the BP oil spill.  As Gulf restoration and recovery efforts continue to move forward, how can the public engage and help shape restoration? To help members of the public better understand how to get involved in Gulf Restoration, ELI, along with Environmental Management Services, Mississippi Commercial Fisheries United, and Public Lab, co-sponsored an event on “Engaging in the Gulf Restoration Processes: How the Public Can Help Shape Restoration.” 

Making Heads or Tails of BP Oil Spill Restoration Projects
March 27, 2018

To help the public better understand how to evaluate restoration projects, the Environmental Law Institute, in partnership with Steps Coalition, Audubon Mississippi, National Wildlife Federation, and Ocean Conservancy, hosted an event in Gulfport, MS on Making Heads or Tails of BP Oil Spill Restoration Projects.” The event brought together experts to cover topics such as how to navigate through restoration projects to understand when one “good” project could be prioritized over another, how to deal with scientific uncertainty, and how restoration projects work in practice. 


RESTORE Council Comprehensive Plan: Questions and Answers
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

On August 23, 2016, the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council released an update to its Comprehensive Plan. The plan will have far-reaching implications for how billions of dollars are spent on Gulf restoration. The public can comment on the draft plan through October 7.

The webinar convened RESTORE Council staff (including Executive Director Justin Ehrenwerth) to provide background on the plan and answer questions from the audience. The goal was to provide information that will inform the public and enhance the public’s ability to provide meaningful comments.

Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts: Using Coordination and Leveraging to Enhance Gulf Restoration (recording available)
March 7, 2016

Billions of dollars have been obligated to several different restoration and recovery processes in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Given the focus of these processes, there is the potential for overlap – not only among the various processes, but also with many existing plans and programs. This overlap makes coordination essential, from development of plans, programs, and projects through funding and implementation.

This webinar brought together representatives from federal, state, and local government to discuss how coordination and leveraging are playing a role in Gulf restoration. The goal of this webinar was to understand what opportunities are available, and what more can be done, to make Gulf restoration greater than the sum of its parts.


BP Proposed Consent Decree Released: Details of the Deal and Gulf Restoration Planning (recording available)
November 3, 2015

On October 5, 2015, the BP Consent Decree was released and opened to the public for comment. The Consent Decree settles most claims against BP arising from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, including Clean Water Act civil penalties (to flow through the RESTORE Act) and Natural Resource Damages (“NRD”). Along with separate agreements with local government entities, these settlements total $20.8 billion.

Also on October 5, the draft Programmatic Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan (referred to as the “Draft PDARP”) was released, providing a comprehensive plan to restore the Gulf of Mexico region using NRD monies. With the Consent Decree and the Draft PDARP, we now have new information that will shape Gulf restoration for decades to come.

The webinar convened experts to discuss the Consent Decree and NRD. The goal of the webinar was to spark discussion, provide answers to questions, and facilitate productive public participation in this important milestone in Gulf restoration.

Climate Change, Community Resilience, and Restoration in the Gulf of Mexico
April 10, 2015

This webinar brought together a panel of experts to discuss the complex intersection of climate change, community resilience and Gulf of Mexico restoration, focusing on the challenges of and opportunities for creating restoration projects that both incorporate climate change considerations and are responsive to the needs of coastal communities.

Deepwater Horizon Litigation: Where things Stand and What is Next (recording available)
January 14, 2015

The webinar brought together leading experts on the oil spill litigation to discuss the first two phases of the trial, including the court’s ruling that the oil spill was the result of BP’s gross negligence and willful misconduct, and previewed some of the major issues that were be addressed in Phase III.


Deepwater Horizon Litigation: Overview and Update (recording available)
November 13, 2013

Coming on the heels of Phase II of the BP civil trial, this webinar provided an overview of the litigation landscape related to the disaster, and then considered the status and implications of the BP civil trial that is ongoing in New Orleans.


Implementing the RESTORE the Gulf Coast States Act: Key Considerations and Opportunities (recording available)
July 30, 2012

This seminar brought together experts to discuss the key considerations and opportunities ahead in implementing the RESTORE Act, including what the RESTORE Act could mean for the environment, economies, fishing communities, and citizens of the Gulf Coast states.


Early Restoration in the Gulf of Mexico: When, Why, and How (recording available)
September 20, 2011 

This seminar brought together experts to discuss what early restoration is, how it fits within the broader Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) process, and the framework agreement and process.


The Oil Spill Liability Framework (recording available)
May 24, 2010 

This panel discussed the primary oil spill liability provisions in effect at the time of the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, and aspects such as the types of damages covered, past experiences, and the factors that influence the extent of liability in different circumstances.