The US Treasury Department announced yesterday that Gulf Coast state and local governments can finally submit proposals and apply for RESTORE Act funds. This opens up grants to support communities impacted by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Some of the $653 million in civil penalties that came out of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill are now available. 35 percent of that money will be divided equally among the five states of Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. 20 coastal parishes in Louisiana qualify for the funds.
The best way to understand Louisiana’s rapidly changing coastal map may be to look from above. That’s how you see the small highways headed South, slim like bony fingers, disappearing into a blue backdrop. What a map can’t express are the histories, hopes and desires of communities along the bayous of the Gulf Coast.
South Louisiana’s Terrebonne Parish has low unemployment — there are lots of jobs in offshore services. So many that there could be a shortage of locals with the skills needed. The Working Coast summer camp in Houma teaches kids about the big industries in their area, and aims to get them excited about those career paths.
About 30 kids hang their fishing poles over a small bridge outside the Water Life Museum in Houma, Louisiana. They’re enjoying their last day at the Working Coast Camp.
The Terrebonne Parish Council has passed a resolution in support of the United Houma Nation receiving federal recognition.
The Courier reports the council also asked the administrations of the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw and the Pointe-au-Chien tribes to submit necessary documents to receive similar council measures of support.
Potential policy shifts in the federal Department of the Interior may open the door for area Native American tribes to achieve federal recognition.