Local fishermen weigh in on settlement agreement between MS and - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Local fishermen weigh in on settlement agreement between MS and BP

Fishermen weigh in on where they'd like to see BP money spent. (Photo source: WLOX News) Fishermen weigh in on where they'd like to see BP money spent. (Photo source: WLOX News)
SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) -

A historical settlement between the Gulf States and BP means the Magnolia State will receive approximately $1.5 billion in relief from the company as a result of the 2010 oil spill.

A breakdown of this settlement agreement between the state and BP includes $582 million going towards environmental projects, research and economic development.

Fishermen weighed in on how they'd like to see that money spent.

"Right after the oil spill a lot of the charter captains, people weren't coming,” said Charter Boat Captain Mark Wright.

Wright remembers the immediate of impact of the BP oil spill well.  An impact he said is still being felt.

"Prior to the oil spill, we didn't have enough available days to book people. After the oil spill, for almost two years, it just died off horribly. People were scared of Gulf seafood. They were scared of the Gulf in general,” Wright said.

Being out on the water regularly, Wright has his own thoughts on where the 2015 settlement money should go.

"A little more could be down with the advertising to show the Gulf fishery is a safe fishery. I would like to see the artificial reefs enhanced larger than what they already are. State's done a good job, but that would be a good target spot to go,” Wright said.

Mike Cornett and his friend Russell Easterling fish the Coast’s fresh and salt waters often. They too would like to see part of the $1.5 billion go to projects that would improve fishing.

"I would say fixing the piers and they are doing that now because a lot of people really enjoy fishing of the piers and it’s just fun,” said Easterling.

"I'm glad they did what they did for the state. I mean that's great you know? But I hope they manage it correctly and do the right things with more reefs, getting our peers fixed. There's just so many things they can do good with the money,” said Cornett.

Governor Phil Bryant declared a victory for the Magnolia State and a victory for what he called a treasured way of life here on the Gulf Coast following the settlement agreement. Combined with the $659 million the state has already received from BP settlements, the total amount Mississippi will receive from BP is $2.2 billion.

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