FOLEY — The state of Alabama is getting nearly $50 million in the 2023 disbursement of The Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) funds. GOMESA funds will be used for coastal conservation, restoration and hurricane protection.

The money, part of a revenue-sharing model for oil and gas-producing gulf states, will stay in Mobile and Baldwin Counties.

State Sen. Chris Elliott (R-Josephine) told 1819 News he is proud he sponsored a bill last year to clarify that even though the state gets the money, it will be spent in the two coastal counties. He said he realized the need for the legislation after seeing some entities outside of coastal counties vying for the money.

“It was a real big deal to get that legislation passed because I had to convince my fellow lawmakers to vote against them ever having an opportunity to take part in that money,” Elliott said. “It’s one of those things I look back on, and I am real glad we were able to get that done.”

Some examples of GOMESA projects are a $10 million boat ramp in Orange Beach, land acquisition in Spanish Fort, Mobile Riverfront Park enhancements and the expansion of Foley’s Graham Creek Nature Preserve,  among dozens of other projects through the years.

GOMESA funds have been distributed for these purposes since 2006.

“Alabama continues to directly benefit from GOMESA dollars, as well as oil and gas leases, and this is certainly welcome news,” Gov. Kay Ivey said in a statement. “These funds allow Alabama to continually invest in important sewer infrastructure, water quality, land acquisitions, research and recreational access improvements in Baldwin and Mobile counties. It is critical for all coastal states and our country that we maintain oil and gas leases.”

Louisiana is getting $156,161,553, Mississippi is getting $51,838,214, and Texas is getting $95,463,547 this year.

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