The attorneys general for Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida announced this morning that BP will pay an $18.7 billion settlement relating to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

“This settlement is good news for fisheries and the angling community in the Gulf, because it will allow efforts to restore critical habitat, improve water quality, update data collection, and restore angler access much quicker than if these funds were tied up in years, or even decades, of litigation,” Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, said in a news release.

“Restoring and protecting critical fisheries habitat with oil spill fines is the top priority for anglers in the Gulf region,” TRCP Center for Marine Fisheries Director Chris Macaluso said. “The longer we have to wait to restore marshes, barrier islands, and reefs, the tougher the job becomes. 

“This settlement allows the states and federal agencies to get to work fixing injuries caused directly by the spill, as well as long-term habitat losses threatening the health of the Gulf’s fisheries.”