INSTITUTE INDEX: Shining a light on Gulf restoration

Amount BP agreed to pay up front for restoration projects prior to completion of what's known as the Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA) measuring the harm done by the 2010 oil-spill disaster: $1,000,000,000

Rank of BP's agreement among the largest of its kind to date: 1

Of the 8 NRDA trustees for the BP oil disaster, percent that are government agencies: 100*

Date on which members of the Gulf Future Coalition -- a network of environmental, social justice and fishing groups -- asked NRDA trustees to disclose what criteria they will use to select projects for funding above and beyond the basic federal eligibility requirements: 7/14/2011

Number of trustees that have made that information publicly available: 0

Date on which the Gulf Future Coalition issued a report calling for greater transparency and public participation in how NRDA trustees will select restoration projects: 11/30/2011

According to one estimate, number of jobs that could be created for every million dollars invested in Gulf restoration: 28

Factor by which jobs created by investing in wetlands and coastal restoration exceeds the number created by investing in oil and gas: 6

Date on which President Obama's Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force released its final recovery plan for the region impacted by the BP disaster: 12/5/2011

Amount of funds the task force announced it would make available to begin implementing the plan, which focuses on enhancing water quality and wildlife habitat in seven Gulf river basins: $50,000,000

Total amount in fines that could be collected under the federal Clean Water Act from parties responsible for the Gulf disaster: $5,400,000,000-$21,100,000,000

Under the RESTORE Act that's been introduced in Congress, percent of those fines that would be funneled to the Gulf Coast for restoration: 80

Number of House members who've signed onto the bill so far: 29

Number of Senators who've signed on: 9

* U.S. Department of Interior, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Defense, and the natural resources agencies of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas

(Click on figure to go to source. Image of BP oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico taken in May 2010 by NASA's Terra satellite via Wikipedia.)