[Clarification: The Gulf businesses cited in this article did not contribute financially to the ad campaign.]

First it was via an advertising barrage by BP in 2010 and 2011 as the oil giant tried to restore its reputation among consumers in the region following the April 2010 spill. Now select Gulf Coast newspapers’ bottom line is getting a boost in the form of full-page color ads purchased by a group of environmental groups in a “thank you” campaign supported by more than 60 Gulf Coast businesses. The gratitude is directed at nine U.S. senators from the region who voted in favor of the RESTORE Act, which dedicates to coastal restoration projects 80 percent of the Clean Water Act violation fines that will be paid by the parties responsible for the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig and ensuing spill of millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf off the Louisiana coast.

Five regional newspapers — curiously The Times-Picayune in New Orleans is not on the list — are publishing the ads beginning today. The ads in The Houston Chronicle (thanking Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchinson and John Cornyn), The [Mobile, Ala.] Press-Register (Sens. Richard Shelby and Jefferson Davis Sessions), the Pensacola News Journal (Sen. Ben Nelson), The [Biloxi] Sun Herald (Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker) and Baton Rouge’s Advocate (Sens. Mary Landrieu and David Vitter) are being purchased by five groups: National Wildlife Federation, Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, Oxfam America and Ocean Conservancy.

A similar amendment by U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Metairie, has already cleared the House.

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