Friday, April 8, 2011

BP buys east beach of Cat Island

BP buys east beach of Cat Island

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GULFPORT -- BP bought part of Cat Island last week.
A company spokesman confirmed the sale Thursday in an interview with the Sun Herald.
It bought the east-facing beach from the Boddie family, which owned a great deal of the island. The family still owns island acreage and there are about 30 private lots on another part of the island.
Cat is 2,000 acres, named for raccoons mistaken for cats by early explorers.
The other major land holder is the National Park Service’s Gulf Islands National Seashore, which has about 1,000 acres under federal protection. It is part of the National Seashore chain.
“We have bought much of the private land,” said Ray Melick, BP spokesman, “the whole stretch of beach that faces east.”
The island is shaped like a T, with the east-facing beach being the top of the T.
Melick said the company hasn’t decided what it will do with the land, but the purchase will help it expedite cleanup of the islands in the wake of the BP oil spill.
“It’s easier to deal with it when it’s not privately owned,” Melick said.
More than 1,700 tons of tar, oily sand and oiled debris had been collected from the chain of barrier islands as of early March.

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