WASHINGTON, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Washington issued a $30 million grant to Louisiana to help protect the coastal habitat in the ongoing response to the BP oil spill, an official said.
The southern U.S. coast is reeling from the massive oil spill that followed the April sinking of the BP-operated Deepwater Horizon oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico. The spill that followed was the worst accidental oil spill in world history.
With BP stopping the leak in mid-July, the response has focused on restoring delicate coastal and maritime environments in the gulf.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced the distribution of $30.7 million in restoration and economic development grants for Louisiana.
The grant funds the restoration of a barrier headland that provides the first line of defense during tropical storms in the gulf.
"These grants are another sign of this administration's commitment to help the Gulf Coast's economy and environment recover in the wake of the BP oil spill," Locke said in a statement announcing the aid.
Shrimping season began Monday in the waters open to fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. A tropical weather system had looped back toward the Gulf Coast from Florida, however, threatening the catch even before shrimpers had begun trawling the riverbeds.