Coastal impact fund helps restore marine habitats

Seven oil-producing coastal states are busily planning how to spend their share of a $150 million windfall from the Coastal Impact Assistance Program fund, the Environmental News Network reports.

The funding is being offered by the US Department of Commerce as a one-time appropriation from Congress. Lawmakers authorized the program to assist coastal states and cities that have suffered environmental damage from Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas activities.

Louisiana and Texas will receive the largest allocations, about $26 million each. The remaining shares will go to Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, California, and Alaska, ranging from $24 million to $12 million.

Activities eligible for funding include enhancement of national marine sanctuaries; removal of marine detritus; and conservation and development management of coastal or marine habitats, such as wetlands, coastal barrier islands, coastal fishery resources, and coral reefs.

Written plans for use of the funds were submitted to the offices of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on July 2 for a 90-day review.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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