LA - $130M in BP spill money to help reconnect big swamp to river
Louisiana will get $130 million in BP oil spill money to link its second-largest coastal swamp back up to the Mississippi River, and Alabama will receive funds to add up to 12,000 acres (4,800 hectares) to a wildlife management area.
The RESTORE Council, made up of officials from the five Gulf states and several federal agencies, voted for the projects on Wednesday. The group was created to allocate money from Clean Water Act fines paid by BP and others after the catastrophic 2010 spill.
The amount approved for Alabama's project was not immediately available.
Louisiana's grant will go toward a system designed to deliver fresh water and sediment from the Mississippi River into the Maurepas Swamp about 30 miles (49 kilometers) west-northwest of New Orleans. Because levees cut it off from the Mississippi River and salt sometimes gets in through canals and nearby Lake Pontchartrain, the baldcypress and tupelo gum trees that make it a swamp have been dying for decades. Marsh grasses have taken over some areas and others have become open water.