Local Agencies Discuss How They Believe BP Settlement Should Be Used

We all know that Mississippi has $1.5 billion in settlement money from BP coming its way over the next 17 years, but what should that money be used for?
News 25’s Katarina Luketich takes a look at what industries were most affected by the spill and how local agencies feel the money should be spent.
Howard Page with the Steps Coalition said, “It seems like a large sum of money, but with the projects that you have to do, we have to be really careful with spending this money. We have to spend it in as focused a way as possible.”
There is a long list of needs along the coast, but environmental experts say improving water quality is a priority. Some believe focusing on our oyster industry can be the key to doing it. The Governor’s Oyster Council finds that repairing this industry that’s crucial to the Coast would also require improving storm runoffs and septic systems.
Gulf restoration plans have been ongoing since the oil spill in 2010. DMR Executive Director Jamie Miller says after years of planning, it’s good to finally have the money to execute their vision. “We can now move forward with confidence that there’s a funding source to go carry out some of these large scale restoration projects that we’ve been talking about, designing for the last several years,” said Miller.
Miller encourages everyone to stay engaged in the process so we can all work together to restore the Gulf Coast to its fullest potential.

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