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EPA announces $50 million for Gulf river basins

HOUSTON — Federal authorities are providing $50 million to restore seven Gulf Coast river basins after last year’s catastrophic oil spill.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s head Lisa Jackson says a task force has set out a series of goals to help restore the region, the result of a year of work between the five Gulf Coast states and the federal government.

Jackson says as a first concrete step the U.S. Department of Agriculture is giving $50 million to restore seven river basins.

President Barack Obama appointed Jackson head of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force after the April 2010 explosion of the BP-operated Deepwater Horizon rig and subsequent oil spill.

The task force has laid out a blueprint for restoring a key region that has seen decades of environmental decline.

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