Oil spill money pays for 1,500 new acres for Mississippi Coast wildlife areas

More than 1,500 acres have been purchased to protect coastal wildlife areas in Jackson County using money from the 2010 BP oil spill, officials announced Wednesday. But thousands more acres could be added in the future. Up to $6 million has been allocated for the acquisition of up to 8,000 acres and habitat management of 17,500 acres in the Grand Bay area.

“A key component of our overall restoration planning after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill has included the conservation of habitat for the benefit of the people who recreate there and the wildlife that live there,” Gov. Phil Bryant said in a press release. “I’m pleased we have been able to secure this area that will expand the lands that are already being conserved.”

This first purchase will add land to the Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, and the Grand Bay Savanna Coastal Preserve.

But thousands more acres could be added in the future. Up to $6 million has been allocated for the acquisition of up to 8,000 acres and habitat management of 17,500 acres in the Grand Bay area.

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