U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke visited Louisiana to hear from local business owners and community members who have been directly affected by the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill. At an economic roundtable in Metairie, LA., Locke announced $31.3 million in coastal restoration and economic development grants for Louisiana and the Gulf Coast.
A $30.7 million restoration grant, awarded to the Louisiana Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration by Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will fund the restoration of a critical barrier headland near Port Fourchon, LA. In addition, Locke announced a $600,000 effort by Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) to fund the deployment of 21 Assessment and Evaluation teams to communities affected by the BP oil spill in the Gulf.
The 21 teams are comprised of economic development practitioners, industry experts, and government officials that will conduct in-depth analyses of critical issues faced by the impacted communities, provide recommendations, and suggest potential solutions to issues of industry migration, workforce skills, small business needs, and infrastructure access and management.