Department of Commerce Announces $3.8 Million for BP Oil Spill Recovery Efforts in Louisiana
September 20, 2010
Contact: John Atwood, (202) 482-4085
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today announced $3.871 million in U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) grants to help advance BP oil spill recovery efforts in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast region.
"The Obama administration remains committed to helping the Gulf Coast's economy recover in the wake of the BP oil spill," Locke said. "These critical EDA grants will assist in the development of a more diversified business climate and support business recovery plans that will foster new jobs and increased economic competitiveness in Louisiana."
The investments announced today include:
- $2.196 million to the Greater Lafourche Port Commission and the Lafourche Parish Water District No. 1 in Galliano, La., to make infrastructure improvements at Port Fourchon to support new business opportunities in alternative energy development, inspection hubs for offshore rigs and seafood, and emergency and environmental solutions.
- $175,000 to the Greater New Orleans Development Foundation to help create sustainable green jobs and technologies by supporting the development of a feasibility plan for a Green Technology Triangle that will enable southeast Louisiana to become a world-class center of economic development and environmental stewardship.
- $1.5 million to The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) to help Louisiana communities affected by the BP oil spill enhance their competitiveness by providing assistance to businesses that are threatened with closures or reductions in workforce. Businesses applying for assistance that meet the classification of "oil spill impacted" will receive help from UTSA in creating and implementing a recovery plan to address both short- and long-term economic outlooks.
These grants from the EDA are part of the Obama administration's overall commitment to the Gulf Coast, to help the region regain its economic footing. At the President's direction, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and other federal officials have met with people in impacted communities throughout the region to discuss long-term economic and environmental restoration ideas. The framework to address those issues will be released this fall. In addition, the administration's "Economic Solutions Team" team is focused on the transition from "response" to "economic recovery" as a result of the BP Deepwater Horizon spill in order to strengthen the coastal economy and help restore a healthy ecosystem. The team is working in partnership with experienced economic development and disaster recovery specialists in the Gulf region, who are providing vital capacity and technical assistance.
To date, EDA has distributed nearly $10 million in grants to help the Gulf Coast recover through its Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program. In July, Congress provided $225 million for oil spill recovery in the Supplemental Appropriations Act, including $83 million for unemployment assistance, $14 million to respond to economic impacts on fishermen for various agencies, and $5 million for EDA to conduct economic recovery activities. The state of Louisiana has already received more than $1.57 million in EDA funding related to the BP oil spill recovery.
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov):
This year, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) marks 45 years of public service, with a mission of leading the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. EDA is an agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce that partners with distressed communities throughout the United States to foster job creation, collaboration and innovation.