Mississippi will spend more than $3 million dollars over the next three years to come up with an oil spill restoration plan for the coast.
The $3.6 million grant from the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation represents about 1% of the total funding the state will receive from the foundation to use for post-oil spill restoration.
Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality director Trudy Fisher says the three-year planning project will look at the current environment and hear from the community to find out what they'd like to see, to come up with restoration priorities and a comprehensive plan. In a video statement, Fisher says they hope to do a lot of listening.
"Hearing from the people early on, rather than your normal public-meeting format where we go and tell people what is happening. This is going to be more of the listening," Fisher says. "And we're going to focus on our resources that we know are so important to the Gulf Coast and to the state of Mississippi."
In addition to the $356 million coming from the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, the state will also receive restoration funds from the RESTORE Act and the Natural Resource Damage Assessment.
DEQ says Mississippi is the first Gulf state to receive restoration planning money.