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Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Announces $10.27 Million in Grants for Gulf Region

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, June 18, 2010

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Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Announces $10.27 Million in Grants for Gulf Region

Grants to aid economic recovery for communities impacted by BP oil spill

Following his second visit to the Gulf Coast to talk with local businesses impacted by the BP oil spill, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced today eight grants for the Gulf region totaling $10.27 million – most for economic development planning and coastal management.

Locke heard firsthand from affected businesses last week when he traveled to Mobile, Ala., Biloxi, Miss., and New Orleans, La.

“People’s livelihoods across the Gulf are at risk,” Locke said. “From day one, the Obama administration has been committed to containing the damage from the BP oil spill and extending to the people of the Gulf the help they need to confront this ordeal. These grants are one more aspect of the administration-wide commitment to doing whatever it takes to help folks deal with the unexpected challenges brought on by this environmental disaster.”

Three grants will be administered through the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA):

  • Nearly $1 million to the International Economic Development Council to help hurricane and oil-impacted communities in Louisiana and Texas identify vulnerabilities in their local economies and develop short- and long-term strategies to spur economic recovery.
  • $750,000 for Seedco Financial Services, Inc. to provide capital to support small businesses in southeast Louisiana. In addition to providing funding, the project will focus on at-risk small businesses in underserved areas to identify their needs and provide technical assistance services.
  • $87,000 to the South Central Planning and Development Commission for technical assistance to communities and businesses in Louisiana’s Gulf Coast communities, helping to facilitate a coordinated, planned approach to economic recovery across the state.

 Five other grants will be administered through the Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):

  • More than $2.5 million for the Louisiana Coastal Management Program to help the state administer its coastal management program
  • More than $2.5 million for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to help the state administer its coastal management program.
  • More than $2.5 million for the Texas General Land Office to help the state administer its coastal management program.
  • More than $1.16 million for the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources to help the state administer its coastal management program.
  • More than $1.4 million for the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to help the state administer its coastal management program.
  • The administration has mobilized one of the largest responses to a catastrophic event in history, authorizing 17,500 National Guard troops from Gulf Coast states to participate in the response. Approximately 31,000 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines, and more than 6,400 vessels are responding on site, including skimmers, tugs, barges and recovery vessels to assist in containment and cleanup efforts.

 At the direction of President Obama, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and several other members of the President’s Cabinet have traveled to the Gulf Coast to survey operations and assess the ongoing efforts to counter the BP oil spill.