Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant announced a list of 15 restoration projects for 2019 during the annual Mississippi Restoration Summit in Biloxi yesterday.
When implemented, these projects will add more than $53 million to the total of more than $560 million already being spent on restoration projects in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The summit is hosted by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ).
“This latest round of projects furthers our efforts to improve our natural resources for wildlife, for marine life, for sportsmen, for recreation and for beach visitors,” Governor Bryant said.
“These projects are essential steps in our ongoing efforts to improve South Mississippi’s natural resources and economy. While all of these projects are important, we want to highlight during the summit our water quality program which is projected to make real improvements to the Gulf Coast’s water quality. That has a direct impact on the essential commercial and recreational use and enjoyment of the Coast’s natural resources,” added Gary Rikard, MDEQ Executive Director.
The projects announced for 2019 are funded through the RESTORE Act and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund.
Some of RESTORE Act Projects are:
- Beneficial Use of Dredge Materials for Marsh Creation and Restoration in Mississippi (additional $7 million in 2019) – This program creates new marsh and restores and enhances existing marsh habitat through the beneficial use (BU) of materials from maintenance dredging activities across the three coastal counties;
- Mississippi Beachfront Resilience ($5 million) – This project will increase the resiliency of Mississippi Gulf Coast beaches by installing native plants such as sea oats and sand fencing to facilitate the formation of sand dunes to mitigate beach erosion and extend the existing concrete boardwalk system on the seawall to mitigate sand migration and loss onto Highway 90;
- University of Southern Mississippi Ocean Enterprise Entrepreneurship Program ($1 million) – This funding will support USM’s development of a combined degree program in both Ocean Engineering and Business to encourage entrepreneurship in Ocean Engineering and technology development. The program will blend engineering and business classes to train students in advanced concepts in both disciplines. This program will support USM and State of Mississippi’s overall Ocean Enterprise vision to grow the Blue Economy and establish the Mississippi Gulf Coast as a national leader in ocean science and technology development.