Allocation clears way for Sound estuary program
BILOXI, Miss. -- The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality awarded Mississippi State University $800,000 to begin a three-year project to establish the Mississippi Sound Estuary Program and facilitate future conservation and restoration projects from Escatawpa to the Pearl River.
“MDEQ heard from stakeholders along the Mississippi Gulf Coast that a Mississippi Sound Estuary Program would be helpful to establish common goals for conservation and restoration, and we look forward to the partnership with MSU,” said Chris Wells, Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality executive director.
The Mississippi Sounds Estuary Program will form advisory committees and engage with local communities with the goal of prioritizing and facilitating conservation and restoration efforts associated with the Mississippi Sound.
Eric Sparks, the director of Coastal and Marine Extension at the MSU Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi, said the new program will help gather information to promote and expedite future conservation and restoration projects.
“We are looking forward to starting this effort that will hopefully soon lead to very impactful conservation and restoration efforts. Based on the support we have received already from coastal communities and agencies, we think this program will be a welcomed addition to the area,” Sparks said.
This project is paid for with federal funding from the RESTORE Council and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality under the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012 (RESTORE Act).