Governor Bryant releases final report from"Go Coast 2020 - - The News for South Mississippi

Governor Bryant releases final report from"Go Coast 2020


Governor Phil Bryant calls it "our playbook for the future." That's how the governor describes the final report released Monday from the Go Coast 2020 group.

The document will help guide Mississippi in its future spending of millions of dollars in BP fine money tied to the oil spill.

"This is where we want the Mississippi gulf coast to be, by the year 2020," said the governor, holding up a copy of the final report at a news conference in Biloxi.

The governor released the 76 page report in a room filled with political and community leaders. The document provides a framework for spending BP fine money that's coming from the RESTORE Act.

"Of course, the settlement must be reached and the money must be transferred. Don't get me wrong, I was auditor. I know that has to take place. But when it does, we have our playbook and we will take off," said Governor Bryant.

That "playbook" provides a comprehensive look at areas like tourism, infrastructure, job training and economic development.

"Jackson County is glad to see the report come out, the final copy of it. So now we can get an opportunity to really sit down and look at the nuts and bolts of how to put projects together and how best to present those," said Jackson County Supervisor Mike Mangum.

John Hairston was co-chair of the tourism committee.

"The first thing we have to make sure we have is a great product to sell. If we have a great product, then the advertising gets a lot easier. But it has to be handled in that order. So, the initial exercise was to identify what types of people we're trying to attract and from where," said Hairston.

The report does not suggest specific projects; rather it lays a foundation for groups that will be pitching projects.

"They need to take this report and read it carefully so they understand what's in there. Because it will give them a step-up on the competition so to speak," said State Senator Brice Wiggins of Pascagoula.

"We can say, we have our playbook. We're ready to go," Governor Bryant told the large crowd of political, business and community leaders.

A meeting to update the RESTORE Act process will be held on the coast, February 19th.

That federal act stipulates that 80 percent of certain fine money paid by BP, must be allocated to the five gulf states that were impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The GoCoast 2020 Final Report can be viewed in its entirety here:

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