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Sunday, September 16, 2018



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Oil spill-related grants announced by foundation

Oil spill-related grants announced by foundation

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A national conservation agency on Monday announced more than $99 million in projects funded through a settlement resulting from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill — including more than $13 million for restoration work on Louisiana's coast.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation outlined the latest projects in a news release. It marks the second round of grants from a program funded as a result of plea agreements between the U.S. Justice Department, BP and Transocean.

Alabama is receiving $9.6 million of the latest grants, which will fund four projects; Mississippi is getting $28.8 million for three projects; Texas, $13 million for eight projects; and Florida, more than $34 million.

Louisiana's single project will involve monitoring and gathering information on Mississippi River diversion projects aimed at rebuilding the coast, as well as barrier island restoration projects, with an eye toward making any needed adjustments as the efforts progress.

In Alabama, the projects will include an assessment of barrier islands, including a study on the future of Dauphin Island; stock assessments for Alabama fisheries; and a project to improve data collection in determining long-term threats to marine mammals from contaminants.

Texas projects include acquisition of property and easements to preserve coastal wetlands and tidal flats; and restoration and protection projects for areas including Greens Lake, Dollar bay, Egery Flats, Oyster Lake and Nueces Bay rookery.

The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded in April 2010, killing 11 workers and sending millions of gallons of oil spewing into the Gulf. The rig was owned by Transocean and leased by BP.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, a nonprofit created by Congress in 1984 to support wildlands, created the Gulf Fund 18 months ago to receive and administer funds for remedial measures agreed upon during plea deals following criminal investigations into the spill.
The foundation is to receive $2.5 billion over five years for projects aimed at repairing the oil spill's harm to Gulf states' natural resources.

In its news release Monday, the foundation broke down that funding as follows:
- $1.2 billion for barrier island and river diversion projects in Louisiana;
- Roughly $356 million each for projects in the states of Alabama, Florida and Mississippi;
- $203 million for "projects in Texas."

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