US government provides $150 million to coastal states for fossil fuel measures

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Ocean Service has allocated almost $150 million to seven coastal states and 150 local jurisdictions to help mitigate the impacts of oil and gas development off their coasts.

The Service, one of five run by the Department of Commerce’s NOAA will begin distributing the funds to Alabama, Alaska, California, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, as well as to approximately 150 local governments due to their vulnerability to the environmental effects of oil and gas development. The NOAA, in cooperation with the Minerals Management Service, developed funding allocations for the states and localities, according to legislative formulas based on coastal population, shoreline milage, Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) revenues, and distance from OCS lease tracts to state or county boundaries.

In order to receive the funds, eligible coastal states must develop plans detailing how the funds will be used. The plans must be submitted to NOAA by 1 July for review and approval.

“Our coastal resources are vital to the economy and environment,” said Margaret Davidson, Acting Assistant Administrator for NOS. “The National Ocean Service, as the nation’s principal advocate for coastal and ocean stewardship, is very pleased to administer these funds for the first time this year. These funds will go a long way toward enhancing, protecting, and restoring our precious coasts”.

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