Locals Plan Meeting to Discuss BP Oil Money

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It's been nearly 4 years since the BP oil spill and Bay County will soon start seeing money for Environmental Restoration Projects.

Trustees for an organization called Natural Resources Damage Assessment are beginning the third and final stage of the restoration projects for areas affected by the 2010 BP oil spill.

"In the first two phases none of the projects were zeroed in on our area," said Fara Ilami, FL Sea Grant Extension Agent.

$627 million dollars will be going to new restoration projects across the Gulf of Mexico.

Ilami said, "This is only going to replace a small amount of what was actually damaged in the spill. The amount of restoration that can actually be accomplished with that is still miniscule in comparison to the damage that was done."

6 of the 44 projects will benefit Bay County in rebuilding oyster beds, reef restoration, and sea grass enhancements.

There's also money to repair piers and docks damaged by the spill.

"The projects that have been set for Bay County are all to restore public use and recreation," Ilami said.

There are 6 local projects on the list, but representatives from several government agencies want to know what locals think about the importance of those projects.

They're holding a public meeting Wednesday to get feedback.

"Now that we have the opportunity to make our voice heard about some of the damage that was done, this is our golden moment," Ilami said.

The meeting takes place Wednesday night at 6:00 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Panama City.

You can make suggestions online until February 19th.