Manatee OKs $68.6 million wish list for ecosystem projects funded by oil spill fines

skennedy@bradenton.comJanuary 3, 2013 

MANATEE — County officials Thursday approved $68.6million in ecosystem restoration projects they hope will qualify for funds expected eventually as a result of fines and penalties stemming from the 2010 Gulf oil spill.

Although a final settlement of the case against BP, the oil company responsible for the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, has yet to occur, counties and parishes in Gulf states are submitting “wish lists” for projects in anticipation of billions of dollars coming their way.

Atop Manatee County’s list was $4,450,000 for restoration of a newly-acquired 150-acre tract at Robinson Preserve; $1,375,896 for longleaf pine restoration at Duette Preserve,;and $6,203,762 for different types of water quality monitoring and improvement projects, according to county documents.

Also on the list was a request for $50 million for acquisition of ecologically-sensitive lands, which if it were approved, might benefit Manatee County over a decade or two, according to Charlie Hunsicker, the county’s director of natural resources.

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