$7M In Oil Spill Fines, 300 Conservation Jobs Over 3 Years

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — About $7 million in BP oil spill penalties will create 300 conservation jobs in Gulf of Mexico states.

         Jeff DeQuattro of The Nature Conservancy said Wednesday that employment will ramp up over three years: 10 people working in each state next year, 20 more in 2019 and another 30 in each state in 2020.

         Officials say work planting native vegetation, removing invasive species and repairing banks and shorelines will teach marketable restoration skills.

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         The conservancy is working with The Corps Network and the Student Conservation Association under a RESTORE Act grant administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

         The RESTORE Act set up a trust fund for 80 percent of the water pollution penalties paid after July 2012 by companies involved in the 2010 oil spill.

         – by AP Reporter Janet McConnaughey

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