Seafood venture makes oil spill 'wish list'

MANATEE — County officials have added Port Manatee infrastructure projects and a seafood venture to those they want financed with funds stemming from the aftermath of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.
 
The county has added maintenance improvements to existing docks and wharfs at Port Manatee to its “wish list” for money stemming from civil penalties after the BP oil spill.
 
The county also wants grant money to promote seafood harvested from the Gulf Coast region, via a business venture called Sun Coast Heritage Seafood Co., according to a letter commissioners OK’d Thursday during a land-use meeting.
 
The draft proposal for repairs to the port’s older berths and docks, and the seafood initiative, are in addition to the county request for $68.6 million in ecosystem restoration projects, said Charlie Hunsicker, county director of parks and natural resources.
 
“They’re not final proposals by either group, the intent was to establish a meaningful description of the concept, which revolves around supporting port infrastructure and projects to promote the seafood harvesting, processing and consumption benefitting our unique Cortez commercial fishery here,” said Hunsicker after the meeting.
 
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