Nearly two dozen nonprofit groups and government agencies in Alabama will share $8.3 million in BP funds that were awarded to promote Gulf Coast tourism and seafood industries in states impacted by the 2010 oil spill. Patrick Juneau, administrator of the claims process for the 2010 Gulf oil spill, announced the first round of Gulf Tourism and Seafood Promotional Fund grants on November 7th. A total of $57 million in tourism and seafood promotion grants will be awarded by BP as part of proposed settlement following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster with each applicant limited to a $500,000 request. Of the total amount, $43.7 million was awarded to 110 grant recipients who were picked from a pool of more than 350 applicants.
In addition to 21 Alabama groups that will split $8.3 million, Louisiana received the largest amount as 43 recipients will get $15.9 million. Florida follows with 33 organizations to receive $13.4 million and 13 organizations in Mississippi will get $6 million. Projects in the Alabama cities of Foley, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach were approved. Some of the Mobile agencies that will receive grants include Mobile Chamber of Commerce, Bellingrath Gardens, Bayfest and Mobile Museum of Art.
While most organizations will receive one payment, five of the Alabama agencies will be funded for two years, totaling $4,204,00. Alabama Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce, Gulf Shores Orange Beach Tourism, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach will receive two $500,000 grants each, and Dauphin Island Park and Beach Board was awarded two $102,000 payments.
To give an indication of how these funds will be used, Foley will create a year-round seafood and farmers market. In Gulf Shores, the city’s award will help begin work within the newly-created Intracoastal waterfront entertainment district. According to the grant application, “the goal of the plan is to create a compact, pedestrian friendly, mixed used, neighborhood downtown district. The plan capitalizes on the working waterfront history and heritage of this area of the city affectionately known as ‘Old Gulf Shores.’”
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