Louisiana to spend $5 million in BP money on tourism every 3 months


BP will give Louisiana $5 million every three months over the next year and a half to promote Louisiana’s tourism, state officials said Friday. The $30 million for tourism promotion is part of $78 million BP has agreed to give Louisiana to monitor seafood for contamination from the oil spill and promote Louisiana’s seafood and tourism.

State officials said they had finished negotiating with BP on how the money would be used. The $78 million fund was announced this month.

Initially, BP had agreed to give Louisiana $10 million a year over the next three years to promote Louisiana’s tourism. The money to boost tourism will be divided between state agencies and parishes.

Lt. Gov. Scott Angelle said so much “negative visual coverage” since the April 20 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and the subsequent oil spill had “tarnished” Louisiana’s tourism brand. He said the money from BP would help Louisiana “take the next step toward revitalizing our image to visitors.”

Also, BP has agreed to spend $30 million on promoting Louisiana’s seafood and $18 million to make sure Louisiana’s seafood is safe and to look for long-term contamination of seafood.

BP has made similar deals with Florida, Alabama and Mississippi.

On Friday, state officials said Louisiana’s seafood industry needed all the help it could get.

State figures show that between January and August commercial shrimp landings were down 51 percent, crab landings down 33 percent and oyster landings down 35 percent.

State officials said they were still negotiating with BP about plans to build a saltwater hatchery and an oyster cultch program.

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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
Cooper Law Firm

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