Governor Phil Bryant Announces BP Spending

Today in Biloxi, Governor Bryant announced over $54 million of restore projects for Mississippi in his address to the Gulf Coast Restoration Ecosystem Council. News 25’s Laurene Callander has a full breakdown of where these millions are going on the Coast.
After hundreds of submissions from the public and many reviews from agencies, including the Go Coast 2020 Commission, Governor Phil Bryant selected nine economic development projects totaling over $54 million of BP funding. The projects include: Stennis International Airport hangar, Port Bienville trans-loading dock completion, ultra-high-speed internet access, a Mississippi aquarium in Gulfport, a Jackson County corridor connector between St. Martin and D’iberville, work-ready community program, support for William Carey University School of Pharmacy, off bottom oyster aquaculture program, and a project management system.
Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes said, “It will look at the entirety of our ecosystem and highlight things from the riverine systems all the way down. That’s some of the things we’re talking with our design team that was selected a month ago, two months ago. They’re working and they understand the need, because it’s Mississippi’s aquarium, that we show the fresh water components and how they impact us downstream and of course the Gulf and the ocean.”
While Governor Bryant proposed the nine projects, a group of activists expressed their concerns over where exactly the money is going from the BP oil spill during his presentation. Gulf Coast Group Chair of Sierra Club Steve Shepard said, “ We are going to hold up signs saying ‘No BP restoration money for the Lake George project’ and we want to hold it up when the governor steps up to speak because I don’t think we can reach the governor in any other way and that’s why we’re doing that.”
The restoration council approved the first spending of the BP money during today’s meeting, totaling over $180 million. Officials say this is the starting line to a long marathon the Coast has to run. “This was a tragedy,” said Governor Bryant, “We had suffered through Katrina and recovered and then the spill. Today is a day that we are now on offense.”
The nine economic development projects still have to be approved by the U.S. Department of Treasury after a 45 day public comment period.

Categories: Local News, Mississippi State News, News

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