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State invests millions in emergency coastal restoration funds

Gov. Bobby Jindal says state can't wait on BP any longer

Tuesday, March 1, 2011 - 7:23pm

BATON ROUGE, La (FOX44) -- Governor Bobby Jindal says the state can't wait on BP any longer. He announced, Tuesday, that emergency funding is on the way to help Louisiana's coastline recover from the Crisis on the Coast.

Months after the Deepwater Horizon spill, BP still hasn't lived up to it's obligation. Governor Jindal says that state has been requesting emergency recovery money since the problem started, but the oil giant has yet to meet those needs.

"Today, we're here to tell BP we need action, not talk," says Jindal. He announced that the state will invest $12 million to help save the coast from the oil still damaging it.

"We're not going to let our oystermen, fisherman, families, communities, or business suffer as we wait for BP to act," he says. The money will be divided up between several different areas. Two million will go towards reestablishing oyster beds. Five million dollars with go towards stabilizing the shoreline. Another five million will go towards adding new vegetation and sand fencing to the coastline.

Government leaders say the state is taking action because BP won't. "Where is the sense of urgency?" demands Plaquemines Parish president Billy Nungesser. "Every day in Bay Jimmy, the shoreline falls off. We lose four or five feet a week."

"If we don't act now and take charge of our destiny and our lives, one day where we stand today in East Baton Rouge Parish will be a coastal parish," says Jefferson Parish president John Young.

Leaders say BP refuses to give them an answer about when and if they'll provide the funding needed to save the coast. "We've been out there day after day, week after week, begging for emergency funding for stabilization," says Nungesser.

Governor Jindal promises that the state will continue to fight for the money it's owed. "Our experts are 100% certain that BP will be required to pay for this one way or the other. We're just encouraging them to do it proactively, instead of waiting."

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