Ridgeland, Miss. – On April 20, 2010, an oil well explodes in the Gulf of Mexico. It claimed the lives of 11 men, marine life and our natural resources and businesses. Oil company BP is now paying back the five coastal states impacted. Mississippi will receive $2.2 billion.
Five years of ups and downs, but Sal and Phil’s Seafood Restaurant in Ridgeland is staying strong.
“Everything has been on a steady increase since the oil spill and this is the first year prices of seafood have actually started to come down. This is the first real year that we are going to be more or less a successful business again,” says owner Anthony Walker.
When the Deepwater Horizon Oil well exploded, it rocked the Gulf’s booming seafood business. “You can a 16-20 shrimp when we were paying before the oil spill, probably $6; after the oil spill, $9.50-$9.75. We go through about 500 pounds of shrimp a week. It was a lot, a lot of struggles. There were a few years where we thought we’re going to have to shut down. it wasn’t a profitable business for a few years,” says Walker.
The explosion claimed the lives of four Mississippians.
“I think we held one of the world’s largest corporations accountable for acts they shortcut. They tried to drill that well too cheap. They knew better,” explains Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood.
The settlement money will go toward coastal restoration. Over the nest decade, $750 million will go directly to the state for economic damages; how that money will be used is up to the state legislature.
“It’s good to hear that it’s going to be coming back around. it will help our business definitely a lot. There’s a lot of new seafood restaurants in the area. it’s going to help all of us out. It’s really just a blessing for everyone in this area. I mean we’re in the South, everyone eats seafood,” says Walker.