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Government Council Seeks Public Comment On BP Oil Spill Settlement Funds

Tulane University Public Relations

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill devastated the Gulf Coast, and cost BP atotal of $61.2 billion. Now a government council is seeking public input on how some of that money should be spent.

The BP settlement is the largest civil penalty for environmental damages ever. The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council is in charge of regionally allocating a portion of those funds. The council is now taking public comment on how to spend its 5.2 billion dollar share. Mimi Drew represents Florida on the Council, which is focusing on reviving the Gulf Coast ecosystem and economy.

“Restore and conserve habitat, restore water quality and quantity, replenish and protect living coastal and marine resources, enhance community resilience, and restore and revitalize the Gulf economy. So those are the categories the council will be looking at once this plan has gone through the public process,” she said.

The council is taking comments and will hold public meetings throughout the Gulf Coast, before finalizing the plan.

“In the state of Florida we’ll be having a public meeting on September 12th in Panama City. For people who can’t make it to that meeting we’ll also be having two webinars. You can register for those webinars at www.restorethegulf.gov,” she said.

The public comment period closes October 7th.

As a Tallahassee native, Kate Payne grew up listening to WFSU. She loves being part of a station that had such an impact on her. Kate is a graduate of the Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts. With a background in documentary and narrative filmmaking, Kate has a broad range of multimedia experience. When she’s not working, you can find her rock climbing, cooking or hanging out with her cat.