BP Agrees To Pay $340-Million: Most Of The Money Goes To Coastal Restoration

Louisiana is getting millions of dollars from BP with most of it going towards coastal restoration. Governor Bobby Jindal made the long overdue announcement this afternoon, three years after the Deepwater Horizon burst into flames. Vanessa Bolano has the details.

“We watching these islands disappear day by day and they’re not going to regrow unless someone goes out there and puts them back in place,” says Scott Poche of Crescent City Fishing Charters.

Poche has spent his entire life in Lafitte, most of it on the waters. He’s seen the changes along the coast and says they seem to be getting worse every year, but now there’s hope. Today there’s hope that something will be done to slow erosion or even turn back time.

“Today I am proud to announce that BP has agreed to fund approximately $340,000,000 for projects for Louisiana,” says Governor Bobby Jindal.

Governor Jindal says of the $340-Million, $320-Million will restore miles of beach, dunes and marsh along four barrier islands from Terrebonne Parish to the East Bank of Plaquemines. The remaining $20-Million will be used to create two fish stock research centers.

Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser says, “We can finally start saying flood protection is getting better, storm surge and the coast is getting better, not worse every year.”

It’s been three years since BP’s Deepwater Horizon burst into flames sending millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf and killing 11 men. Today’s relief is just the beginning.

“They spend a lot of money on TV ads saying they want to make this right. If they really want to make this right they need to get out of court and truly make this right,” says Governor Jindal.

The governor says there’s still 200 miles of shoreline in our state that remains oiled, erosion rates have increased, and oyster production has gone down. No one knows this better than those out there. Those like Poche.

“We hope that one day we will see some kind of progress,” says Poche.

The $340-Milion announced today part of $1-Billion BP committed to spend back in 2011.

U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today released the following statement on the announcement that BP will pay approximately $340 million for restoration projects in Louisiana:

“Today’s announcement that BP will pay $340 million to fund restoration projects to protect our communities is good news – these important projects are long overdue. But to truly achieve justice for the Gulf after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, we need a resolution to the civil case against BP so the projected billions in fines can begin flowing. Because of the RESTORE Act, 80 percent of the Clean Water Act fines will go directly to the Gulf Coast states for coastal protection and restoration, and economic recovery. But we’re still waiting for these funds, and as each day passes, we lose more of our coast.  We have waited long enough, and I continue my call for a swift resolution of BP’s civil case so we can get to work rebuilding our coastline and protecting our communities from storm surges.”