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WWLTV.com
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NEW ORLEANS -- BP is giving $627 million to fund early restoration projects, and $340 million of that will be spent right here in Louisiana.

The plan includes some 44 projects across five states.

In Louisiana, the money will go towards building two fish hatcheries. The rest will be dedicated to four barrier island restoration projects.

North Breton National Wildlife Refuge will be getting $72 million to help rebuild the barrier island that's been washed away.

Officials say work on the projects will start next summer.

'We have a chance here to do it right, to help protect against floods and storms, to help create a robust and wonderful place for people to visit, for people to live,' said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell.

'This step allowed the trustees to go forward with the commitment of significant restoration as quickly as possible before the injury assessment is done as far as what the impacts were to the Gulf,' said Cindy Dohner, southeast regional director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services.

The announcement is also the start of a 60-day public comment period. There will be a total of 10 public meetings for the community to get details on projects in their area and will give folks an opportunity to give their feedback.

You can also submit written comments online or by mail.

For a list of meeting times, dates and locations, click here.

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