$134M for recovery projects arising from 2010 Gulf oil spill

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
BP Found 'Grossly Negligent' in 2010 Oil Spill


NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A panel on Wednesday approved using $134 million provided by energy giant BP PLC on 10 projects to help the Gulf of Mexico recover from a catastrophic 2010 oil spill.

The approval came from a trustee council made up of Gulf coast states and federal officials overseeing ecological restoration from the offshore spill. About $126 million will go to projects to help sea turtles, fish, vegetation and birds and $8 million on enhancing recreational uses.

In 2011, BP offered to spend $1 billion to spur the recovery of the Gulf, anticipating future restoration costs meted out through the courts. BP is expected to spend billions of dollars more on restoration.

An April 2010 blowout at a well BP and its contractors were drilling touched off the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history. The explosion and fire aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig killed 11 workers and crews took nearly three months afterward to cap the leak, which some experts estimated at more than 130 million gallons of oil.

See images from the oil spill:

14 PHOTOS
BP oil spill
See Gallery
$134M for recovery projects arising from 2010 Gulf oil spill
FILE - In this June 15, 2010 file photo, a member of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's staff wearing a glove reaches into thick oil on the surface of the northern regions of Barataria Bay in Plaquemines Parish, La. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier ruled Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014, in New Orleans, La., that BP acted recklessly and bears most of the responsibility for the oil spill. The ruling exposes BP to about $18 million in civil fines under the Clean Water Act. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
FILE - In this Wednesday, April 21, 2010 file photo, oil can be seen in the Gulf of Mexico, more than 50 miles southeast of Venice on Louisiana's tip, as a large plume of smoke rises from fires on BP's Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig. An April 20, 2010 explosion at the offshore platform killed 11 men, and the subsequent leak released an estimated 172 million gallons of petroleum into the gulf. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier ruled Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014, in New Orleans, La., that BP acted recklessly and bears most of the responsibility for the oil spill. The ruling exposes BP to about $18 million in civil fines under the Clean Water Act. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)
n this Thursday, July 24, 2014 photo, third-generation fisherman Randy Slavich, left, and deckhand John Hoffmann pull in oysters in Lake of Second Trees in St. Bernard Parish, La.. Oyster harvests along the Gulf Coast have declined dramatically in the four years since the BP oil spill. Even after a slight rebound last year, thousands of acres of Louisiana oyster beds are producing less than a third of what they did before the nation’s worst offshore oil disaster. (AP Photo/Stacey Plaisance)
The shadow of a helicopter passes over oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in waters less than ten miles off the coast of Grand Isle, La., Monday, June 28, 2010. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
A Blackhawk helicopter carrying Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal flies over oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in waters less than ten miles off the coast of Grand Isle, La., Monday, June 28, 2010. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Crude oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill washes ashore in Orange Beach, Ala., Saturday, June 12, 2010. Large amounts of the oil battered the Alabama coast, leaving deposits of the slick mess some 4-6 inches thick on the beach in some parts. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Crude oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill washes ashore in Orange Beach, Ala., Saturday, June 12, 2010. Large amounts of the oil battered the Alabama coast, leaving deposits of the slick mess some 4-6 inches thick on the beach in some parts. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
FILE - In this June 8, 2010 file photo, oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill coats marsh grass at the Louisiana coast along Barataria Bay. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)
A Brown Pelican sits on the beach at East Grand Terre Island along the Louisiana coast after being drenched in oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill Thursday, June 3, 2010. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Plumes of smoke are seen as oil is burned off the surface of the water near the source of the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana June 19, 2010. REUTERS/Lee Celano (UNITED STATES - Tags: DISASTER ENVIRONMENT ENERGY BUSINESS)
Oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is visible near the beach on Barataria Bay, Louisiana June 9, 2010. British energy giant BP's stock price plunged to a 14-year low in U.S. trading on Wednesday amid concerns over its ability to meet mounting costs of the giant Gulf of Mexico oil spill. President Barack Obama's administration, getting tough as polls show public disapproval over its handling of the worst oil spill in U.S. history, threatened new penalties on the company. REUTERS/Lee Celano (UNITED STATES - Tags: DISASTER ENVIRONMENT ENERGY BUSINESS)
Fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the offshore oil rig Deepwater Horizon, off Louisiana, in this handout photograph taken on April 21, 2010 and obtained on April 22. Eleven workers were missing and 17 injured in an explosion at the Transocean oil drilling rig, and crews were fighting the fire 16 hours later, the U.S. Coast Guard said on Wednesday. An estimated 126 people were aboard the Deepwater Horizon at the time of the explosion. Picture taken April 21, 2010. REUTERS/U.S. Coast Guard/Handout (UNITED STATES - Tags: DISASTER ENERGY IMAGES OF THE DAY) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS
A Portuguese Man-o-War is seen in clumps of oil in the waters in Chandeleur Sound, La., Monday, May 3, 2010. Fish and wildlife are vulnerable to the oil spill resulting from the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

So far, with these new projects included, about $832 million of the $1 billion has been awarded. The projects were announced previously in April.

The largest amount of money - more than $45 million - will go to measures to protect sea turtles, which are considered threatened and endangered throughout U.S. waters. The April 2010 spill hit turtles hard, in particular a species of small turtles known as the Kemp's ridley turtle.

The new money will be spent over 10 years on finding Kemp's ridley turtle nests in Texas and Mexico, helping turtles that are nesting, rescuing turtles in distress and getting shrimp fishermen to avoid catching sea turtles in their nets.

The next largest amount of money - $30 million - is for projects along the Mississippi coast. That money will be used to build about 272 acres of reefs and 4 miles of breakwaters. Scientists expect that these spots will over time become fertile marine grounds and enhance the growth of oysters, shrimp, crabs and other species. Scientists also say the breakwaters will reduce shoreline erosion and marsh loss. Alabama is to receive about $10 million for similar projects.

Meanwhile, about $20.6 million will be spent on bird nesting areas in Texas. This project will restore and protect three islands in Galveston Bay and one in East Matagorda Bay to provide more nesting habitat for brown pelicans, gulls, great blue herons, roseate spoonbills and other birds.

Another $20 million will pay fishermen to set aside long lines during the six-month bluefin tuna spawning season and use other gear. The program is expected to last between five and 10 years.

Longline boats use up to 40 miles of baited hooks to fish for yellowfin tuna and swordfish, but also haul up sharks, bluefin tuna and marlin. Bluefin tuna, which can weigh a quarter-ton and sell for thousands of dollars, have been severely overfished, particularly to feed a worldwide market for sushi.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners