Bryant Releases Plan to Spend Oil Spill Money

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Gov. Phil Bryant's plan for restoring Mississippi's coastal areas with funds from the BP oil spill focuses on workforce training and programs to bring more high-tech communications and better transportation services to the region.

Bryant and Trudy Fisher, executive director of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, released the final report the GoCoast 2020 Commission Monday in Biloxi.

GoCoast 2020’s eight key areas of focus were:

• Eco-restoration

• Economic development

• Seafood

• Infrastructure

• Tourism

• Workforce development

• Small business

• Research and education

The GoCoast 2020 Commission’s eight committees, called GoTeams, all identified several common threads that should be followed as the Mississippi Gulf Coast prepares for the implementation of the RESTORE Act. First and foremost, each GoTeam focused on the need for any project considered in the future under RESTORE to have as positive an impact as possible on the entire Coastal region, not just one single area.

The five states bordering the Gulf of Mexico will get 80 percent of Clean Water Act fines from the 2010 BP spill, although the money won't be split evenly.

The total haul is estimated at $5 billion to $21 billion, depending on what parties agree to in a settlement or what a federal judge determines.

The RESTORE Act, passed by Congress, sets up the distribution.

Click below to read the GoCoast 2020 Report.