(MOBILE, Ala.) More than a dozen non-profit organizations and government agencies in Alabama will receive grant money set aside by BP, and organization said Thursday.
Deepwater Horizon Claims Administrator Patrick Juneau announced 110 organizations along the Gulf Coast will receive more than $43 million dollars in the first round of grants from the Gulf Tourism and Seafood Promotional Fund.
The fund was established by BP and Plaintiffs Steering Committee in the Deepwater Horizon Economic Loss & Property Damages Settlement, and was meant to fund projects to bolster tourism and highlight gulf seafood.
21 organizations in Alabama were awarded a total of $8,337,180. One of the organizations chosen is the Mobile Chamber of Commerce.
Chamber Executive Vice President Bob Chappelle hopes the small businesses they represent will see a return from the grant.
"It's early in the process," Chappelle said. "We've not yet seen the details. We look forward to seeing more of what the award entails.
"There's a grant opportunity to help promote seafood, to bring that market back to help our small businesses. So we made an application through our Seafood Task Force."
Mobile County non-profits like Bayfest, the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and Bellingrath Gardens and Home are among those expected to receive grant money as well. In Baldwin County the Cities of Foley, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach were among government agencies given the final nod.
"The City of Orange Beach received a half-a-million dollar grant," Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon said. "Our Friends of the Arts Center, they received the same."
Kennon said it is money that he hopes will grow over time in different projects.
"We just got to spend it very wisely, and make sure that whatever we do is going to give us a return and not just buy stuff; not buy depreciating assets. stuff that'll be gone and we won't ever see that opportunity again."
Louisiana agencies and non-profits received the highest amount of grant payouts with 43 organizations receiving nearly $16 million. 33 organizations in Florida received more than $13 million, and 13 organizations in Mississippi received just over $6 million.