Phil Bryant announced 15 restoration projects today in Biloxi. They total more
than $114 million and primarily focus on water quality, marine resources and
land acquisition for conservation. The majority of the funds ($60 million)
target improving water quality.
The projects will be administered by the Mississippi Department
of Environmental Quality and were announced as part of MDEQ’s Mississippi
“These projects will continue our efforts to ensure funds are
spent in the most effective and strategic ways to restore and enhance our
natural resources and our economy following the Deepwater Horizon oil
spill,” Gov. Bryant said. “This latest round is another component of our
efforts to improve our natural resources for wildlife, for marine life, for
sportsmen, for recreation and for beach visitors.”
The projects are funded by three sources: The RESTORE Act
(Bucket 1 $27.34 million and Bucket 3 $49.8 million), the National Fish and
Wildlife Foundation ($16.1 million), and the Natural Resource Damage Assessment
($21 million). By category, the funding for water quality totals $60 million,
$27.3 million for marine resources, $18.3 million for coastal habitat
conservation and restoration and $8.64 million for support of the economy.
RESTORE Act Projects:
Mississippi Gulf Coast Water Quality Improvement Program (Two
projects -- $45 million and $11 million) -- This program will begin to identify and
repair the areas along the coast that are having issues with water quality.
With this initial investment, there is an expected decrease in the number of
University of Southern Mississippi Oyster Hatchery ($7.7
million) – The
money will fund the acquisition of an oyster hatchery and research center. The
hatchery is state of the art and will be operated by the University of Southern
Pascagoula Oyster Reef Relay and Enhancement ($3.5 million) – The enhancement will invest money in
relaying oysters from unharvestable reefs to harvestable reefs and using the
best science to select locations and to maximize oyster production.
North Rail Connector Planning Assistance ($550,000) -- This project is the number one
economic development priority in Jackson County. The funds will pay for
planning, strategizing and permitting needs that will move the rail connector
NOARC ($2.75 million) – The National Oceans and Applications Research Center is
designed to create the sky-to-sea market in Mississippi. It will attract new
industries for environmental monitoring to the Mississippi Gulf Coast and
establish an area for them to demonstrate their technologies.
Salvation Army Center of Hope ($1.32 million) -- The Center for Hope will bolster
workforce development for the Coast. Located in North Gulfport, it will provide
activities such as job skills for the labor force so that people have a better
opportunity to invest in themselves and their families.
Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center ($3.52 million) -- The Coliseum and Convention center
has the capacity to be a world-class facility and attract larger conference
audiences. In order to do this, the coliseum needs to make site improvements.
This project will support capacity improvements at the facility.
Compatibility, Coordination, and Restoration Planning (Two
projects totaling$1.8 million) – Funds support of restoration planning.
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Projects:
Mississippi Marine Mammal and Turtle Conservation, Recovery and
Monitoring Program ($9.9 million) – This project will invest over $9.9 million in dolphins and
sea turtles and will help its partners lead the Gulf in restoration and
research. This project will also help establish Mississippi State University as
a leader in marine veterinary science.
It is a partnership among Mississippi State, the University of
Southern Mississippi, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and
the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources.
Coastal Bird Stewardship in Mississippi ($6.2 million) – This provides $6.2 million for
coastal bird assessment and stewardship of the species and its habitat.
Partners are Mississippi State, National Audubon Society, the Mississippi
Department of Environmental Quality and the Mississippi Department of Marine
Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Projects:
) – Money will be used to purchase key
tracts to conserve habitat and invest in restoration at Graveline Bay. The
project will protect wildlife for generations to come.
Grand Bay ($6 million) – This project fulfills the same purpose as the
Graveline Bay investment.
Upper Pascagoula River Nutrient Reduction Alternatives ($4 million) -- An investment of $4 million will
improve water quality on the Pascagoula River, one of most important rivers in
the state and the southeast.
Comprehensive information about all of Mississippi’s restoration
efforts can be found at www.restore.ms.
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