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Ryan Fikes is a trained biologist with expertise in coastal ecology and habitat restoration, and serves as Staff Scientist for NWF's Gulf Restoration Campaign. In this role, he provides in-house scientific expertise to identify and evaluate restoration projects in the Gulf of Mexico that are scientifically sound, integrate with other projects, and have measurable milestones and outcomes. In addition, he advises the campaign on issues associated with the effects of the Gulf Oil Spill on habitats and wildlife, assists in evaluating the merits of state and national Gulf restoration plans, and helps to prioritize various restoration projects.
Oystercatchers are just one species that rely on oyster reefs-- but this habitat has declined across the Gulf. Photo donated by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Kathy Reeves.

$80 Million Announced for Gulf Restoration Projects

11/16/2015 // By Ryan Fikes

The National Fish & Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) has recently announced a third round of projects funded by BP and Transocean’s 2012 criminal settlement. To date, nearly $480 million from this fund has been designated for restoration projects benefitting wildlife across the Gulf Coast. In …


What We Know Now About the BP Oil Disaster

11/9/2015 // By Ryan Fikes

It’s been more than five years since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded. Since that time, a council of federal and state Trustees have been extensively investigating the impacts of the disaster on wildlife and habitats, but that information has …

Research and monitoring of important wildlife, such as the endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle pictured here, will be a major focus moving forward.” Photo Credit: US Fish & Wildlife Service

$1.2 Billion Will Support Gulf Science Programs

8/25/2015 // By Ryan Fikes

In the early days of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, it became apparent that there was a lack of base scientific understanding of the Gulf ecosystem, and how the oil might affect it. Between the recent BP settlement, the prior criminal …


10 Things BP’s New Report Doesn’t Tell You

3/17/2015 // By Ryan Fikes

BP has just released a new report on the state of the Gulf, called Gulf of Mexico: Environmental Recovery and Restoration. The glossy report is filled with footnotes and citations, but leaves key pieces of science out. If you are …

Great Blue Heron in Florida

5 Steps Toward Restoring the Gulf of Mexico

12/9/2014 // By Ryan Fikes

Nearly five years ago, BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, setting off a catastrophe that killed 11 men and sent more than four million barrels of oil deep into the Gulf. Recently, scientists mapped the location of a portion of …

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A $100M Step Toward Restoring the Gulf

11/24/2014 // By Ryan Fikes

The National Fish & Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) announced a second round of Gulf restoration projects, totaling $99.2 million. A total of 25 projects across the Gulf will seek to restore and increase the resilience of the Gulf’s natural resources. Over …

Deeppwater Horizon _ NOAA

Sound Science Needed for Gulf Restoration

9/4/2014 // By Ryan Fikes

Four years ago the BP oil spill killed eleven workers and sent more than 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Two years ago the RESTORE Act passed, which will send 80% of Clean Water Act civil …


Senators to Gulf of Mexico Restoration Body: Get on With it!

8/7/2014 // By Ryan Fikes

The pace of restoring the Gulf of Mexico in the wake of the BP oil spill has been slower than anyone would like. Last week the Senate Commerce Committee held an oversight hearing to revisit the RESTORE Act two years …

Grant Bay NWR - USFWS - FlickR

Private Lands and Gulf Restoration – A Vision for Success

6/6/2014 // By Ryan Fikes

The five US states bordering the Gulf of Mexico encompass roughly 290 million acres of land, of which roughly 86% are privately owned. This translates into more than 249 million acres of agricultural and forested lands, making it impossible to ignore …


BP Spill Impacts on Red Snapper — What We Know, What We Don’t

4/20/2014 // By Ryan Fikes

Red snapper are one of the Gulf’s signature sportfish, popular among recreational and commercial fishermen and prized at markets and restaurants. Due to this popularity, red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico have been overfished since the early 1980s, but …

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