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Politics

Gulf Oil Spill Cleanup Still a Gaetz Priority

November 17, 2013 - 6:00pm

Recovery from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf continues to be a priority for Florida Senate President Don Gaetz.

On Monday, the Niceville Republican highlighted the $15.7 million awarded to Florida by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) from the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund.

Providing for Northwest Floridas ongoing recovery from the Deepwater Horizon spill is, and will continue to be, among my top priorities, and I hope you will not hesitate to reach out to my office with any questions, comments or concerns you may have regarding the restoration, Gaetz wrote to supporters.

The money is part of the $2.544 billion BP and Transocean settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice. The NFWF, which will receive and administer the full amount of the settlement, released $100 million for 22 projects in five states as part of its first phase of grants.

Floridas share of the funds will be awarded to six projects:

According to the NFWF, the allocation formula in the plea agreements will result in $356 million being paid into the Gulf Fund over the next five years for conservation projects in Florida.

The projects awarded will repair damage to natural resources, habitats and species that resulted from the oil spill. The projects are identified in consultation with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Anne Smith writes special to Sunshine State News.

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