Mississippi will submit three proposals today for a new round of post-B-P oil spill funding. MPB’s Evelina Burnett reports.
The state's proposals to the Restore Council include creating a Mississippi Sound estuarine program; a multi-state land conservation project; and a federal-state initiative to expand the beneficial use of dredged material. Andrew Whitehurst is water program director for the Gulf Restoration Network.
"The state seems to be very cognizant of what this money is intended to be used for," he says. "They're showing a lot of will to work with other states, so it's positive."
Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality restoration coordinator Ebonye Allen says the projects were chosen because they are foundational, sustainable, and cooperative.
"The land protection and the beneficial use programs look at a gulf-wide approach," she says. "The Mississippi Sound estuarine program will be focused only in the state of Mississippi, but it connects us to other estuarine programs that are currently in the gulf."
Five states and 10 federal agencies will be competing for the funding, expected to total $150 million to $180 million dollars.
DEQ says the state will formally submit its proposals on Monday, Nov. 17. The Restore Council will conduct an initial eligibility review. That's expected to take about two weeks. Once the submissions are deemed eligible, DEQ says full proposals will be available for download at www.restore.ms.