Coast residents weigh in on how to spend restoration money from BP oil spill settlement

Coast residents weigh in on how to spend restoration money from BP oil spill settlement

LONG BEACH, Miss. (WLOX) - The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, also known as the Restore Council, presented its planning framework draft to a passionate crowd at USM Gulf Park Wednesday night.

A few dozen people showed up to share their experience and voice their opinions on how much from the BP oil spill settlement should be used to restore the environment.

The Restore Council funds restoration projects and education initiatives with money from the BP oil spill settlement.

This was the council’s fourth in-person review and comment meeting on the planning framework draft, which serves as a bridge between the council’s overall goals and specific projects across the entire Gulf Coast.

Residents from across the Coast are weighing in with various ideas on how they believe South Mississippi’s environment will be best restored following the disastrous 2010 oil spill.

Chris Wells, the director of the office of restoration says its important to listen to the needs of each region instead of a one-size-fits-all approach. Some of the ideas Wells said the council has heard include water quality improvements, habitat conservation and improvements, and the restoration of marine resources, particularly oyster.

The council will use feedback from Wednesday’s meeting as it creates a funded priorities list for a new set of restoration projects set to begin by 2020.

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