Governor Phil Bryant addressed the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (RESTORE Council) at its meeting yesterday in Biloxi and announced several projects for the State of Mississippi, designed to help restore and protect the environment and economy of the state.
“We continue to propose and implement projects to support the economic and natural resource recovery of the Mississippi Gulf Coast and the entire Gulf region resulting from the oil spill,” Bryant said.
“We have formed effective partnerships with the other states and the federal agencies to ensure funds are spent in the most effective and strategic ways to restore and enhance our natural resources and our economy.”
The four projects recommended yesterday by Mississippi that focus on ecosystem restoration are funded under the RESTORE Act.
Strategic Land Protection, Conservation, and Enhancement of Priority Gulf Coast Landscapes ($15.5 million) — This project will protect lands through acquisition and conservation easement programs in areas across the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Priority areas include the Gulf Islands National Seashore, Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge and the DeSoto National Forest.
Enhancing the Opportunities for Beneficial Use of Dredge Sediments ($2.18 million) –This project will provide funding for planning, engineering and design and permitting to use dredge material for coastal restoration.
The Mississippi Sound Estuarine Program: A Programmatic Vision for Bridging Coastal Restoration ($2.27 million) — The Mississippi Sound Estuarine Program will act as a coordinating body to ensure Mississippi restoration success is maximized. The program will look across the Gulf to leverage existing restoration efforts to the benefit of Mississippi.
SeaGrant Education and Outreach – Undertake education and outreach activities to describe the values of land protection for habitat, water quality improvement and for securing the future of the Gulf of Mexico in Mississippi ($750,000) — This project will establish an education and outreach program in Mississippi. The program will provide grants to fund education activities focused on restoration activities such as land conservation, habitat stewardship and water quality.
The four ecosystem restoration projects recommended yesterday total $20.7 million and are in addition to over $180 million of oil spill related funds for ecosystem restoration projects received to date.