National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

Supporting a Healthier Gulf of Mexico


In 2017, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) implemented the Deepwater Horizon Oceanic Fish Restoration Project, which compensates pelagic longline vessel owners for participating in a six-month repose from fishing yellowfin tuna and swordfish. The project goal is to help restore the fishery following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. NFWF needed help communicating with its audiences about this complex project, including fishermen who were reluctant to work with federal agencies. The Hatcher Group has led the communications work for the project since its inception.


Crisis Communications
Design & Creative
Digital Strategies
Messaging & Branding
Strategic Communications

Our Strategy

We created a communications plan and a suite of easy-to-understand materials in English and Vietnamese to educate and engage participants in the Deepwater Horizon Oceanic Fish Restoration Project (many of whom are originally from Vietnam) and other target audiences. Communications materials and compelling infographics informed target audiences, some of whom are not in favor of the project, about the project’s goals to gain understanding and support. We also developed a crisis communications plan so project leaders can quickly and effectively communicate to their important audiences should the need arise. Every year we update messaging and materials, based on feedback from previous project participants and lessons learned, to make the communications clear and compelling.

Our Impact

  • Each year more than half of eligible vessel owners apply to be involved in the Deepwater Horizon Oceanic Fish Restoration Project
  • Since the project began in 2017, an estimated 23,700 kg of dead discard has been avoided
  • The project is meeting restoration goals and resulting in a healthier Gulf of Mexico
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