Escambia County will be seeing some $5.78 million for two BP oil spill restoration projects, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson's office said today. Construction is expected to begin sometime this summer.
Work on the projects -- four public boat ramps and 20 acres of coastal dunes -- can begin even before completion of damage assessment activities with BP, because of an April 2011 agreement with the oil company to fund $1 billion in early restoration projects.
The Department of Interior today announced final details on an early start to eight such restoration sites in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama -- and, the two in Florida. The so-called "Phase I" projects were the focus of a dozen public meetings held throughout the Gulf Coast states and in Washington, D.C. in January and February this year.
"Getting this work underway early is great," Nelson said today. "We've also got to get Congress to pass the legislation that directs that any BP fine money goes to the affected states."
That legislation, aimed at setting aside billions in fines from the BP oil spill for restoration, remains stalled by partisan gridlock in Congress as the two-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill nears. The nation's largest oil spill occurred April 20, 2010.