$627M in Gulf oil spill recovery projects approved

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Officials have approved plans to spend $627 million on 44 projects meant to aid recovery from the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but environmentalists are fuming that $85.5 million will go to an Alabama beachfront hotel they say will hurt rather than help the Gulf.

BP PLC provided $1 billion in 2011 as a coastal restoration down payment following the Deepwater Horizon spill. Trustees, including the five Gulf states and four federal agencies, approved the plans Friday. Two earlier phases totaling $71 million are already approved. BP will likely have to pay more after environmental fines are levied.

The money is meant to improve the environment or public access. The single biggest sum, $318 million, will go to restore barrier islands off Louisiana's rapidly eroding coast.