A coalition of national environmental groups says the billions of dollars expected from the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill penalties should go toward rapidly rebuilding Louisiana’s coastline.
During a teleconference Tuesday, the conservation groups outlined 19 priority projects detailed in their two new reports. David Muth, Gulf Program director for the National Wildlife Federation, says these projects are critical.
“We already have a crisis. We already have a massive land loss crisis. We’ve already lost history and function throughout the Gulf of Mexico. So, time is not on our side. We need to move forward and we need to move forward quickly,” Muth said.
The projects listed in the reports are all in the state's 2012 Master Plan for coastal restoration. They include major sediment and freshwater diversions on the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers, and a saltwater barrier on the Calcasieu River on the western side of the state.
The 2010 Gulf oil spill dumped more than 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf, affecting hundreds of miles of coastline.