(CN) – BP will pay $1 billion toward Gulf Coast restoration projects, according to an agreement between the Natural Resource Trustees for the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and the oil company, reached on the first anniversary of the worst oil spill in U.S. history.
The agreement, which the Justice Department called “the largest of its kind ever reached,” will fund projects to combat the monumental damage the oil spill caused to the Gulf Coast’s marshes, beaches and sensitive areas of ocean habitat for wildlife.
“One year after the largest oil spill in our history, we take a major step forward in the recovery of the Gulf of Mexico, for the environment and the people who depend on it for their livelihood and enjoyment,” said Jane Lubchenco, administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in a statement. “Today’s agreement is a down payment on our promise to protect and restore the Gulf.”
As part of the agreement, the states of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas will all select $100 million in projects to implement.
The Federal Resource Trustees, the NOAA and the Department of the Interior will also select $100 million in projects, and $300 million will go toward government projects proposed by the state trustees.
The remaining $500 million will be deposited into a subaccount within the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Trust.