Last week BP announced an $18.7 billion settlement with five Gulf of Mexico states, including Florida, for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster; to talk about what this means for the Tampa Bay area we talked with environmentalist Cathy Harrelson and Andy Squires from Pinellas County. He’s their Section Manager for Coastal and Freshwater Resources in their Natural Resources Division.
Florida is getting about $3.25 billion dollars of this settlement. We learned about some of the local projects it could be used for. Squires says there are four major projects on Pinellas County’s list of RESTORE Act priorities:
- a survey of infrastructure concerns regarding sea-level rise
- ocean science buoys deployed offshore by USF to predict storm damage
- water quality studies of Tampa Bay and other water bodies by USF
- dune protection at Ft. DeSoto Park.