Baton Rouge, LA — Louisiana will seek approval for more than a half billion dollars in projects to restore coastal areas and fisheries affected by last year's huge BP oil spill, Gov. Bobby Jindal said Monday.
The money would come from $1 billion that BP agreed to spend in April in a pact with the federal government and the five Gulf States affected by the oil spill. At a news conference attended by state officials, lawmakers and officials from coastal parishes, Jindal said he expects Louisiana to get the bulk of that money because the state suffered a disproportionate share of damage from the spill.
Jindal said the state would seek approval from the trustee council established to review the proposed projects.
The projects include oyster habitat restoration, fish hatcheries and barrier island restoration projects.
Under the agreement announced in April, the five Gulf states get $100 million each and the federal government will get $200 million. The remaining $300 million will be divvied out to projects deemed the most urgent.
Louisiana hopes to get most of that $300 million, and to see a portion of the $200 million federal share spent on Louisiana projects. Combined with the $100 million dedicated to Louisiana, that could add up to more than $500 million.
Attorney General Buddy Caldwell noted that other states represented on the council of trustees will be making cases for a large chunk of the money.
"Every state has a seat at the table," Caldwell said, adding that he believes the Jindal administration has put the state in position for approval with a thorough, well-documented list of projects. Jefferson Parish President John Young agreed, calling the projects "shovel ready."
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