On November 9, 2021, Mississippi‘s governor, Tate Reeves, announced a list of 16 coastal ecological restoration projects funded by the RESTORE Act.
When implemented, these projects will add more than $62 million to the total of more than $570 million already being spent on restoration projects in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
“We continue to implement projects that are strategically designed to augment our efforts to help restore the economy of the Gulf Coast, as well as the Coast’s natural resources,” said Chris Wells, MDEQ Executive Director.
These 16 projects announced for 2021 are funded through the RESTORE Act and were recommended to Governor Reeves by the Governor’s Gulf Coast Advisory Committee for his consideration and selection.
“One of my top priorities will always be ensuring that all funds meant for restoring our Gulf Coast, go strictly to our Gulf Coast,” said Governor Reeves. “With the announcement of these 16 critically important projects, that’s exactly what my administration is doing.”
RESTORE Act Direct Component (aka Bucket 1) Funding:
- Water Quality Improvement Program ($1.1 million) — implementation of new, repaired, or upgraded stormwater and wastewater systems including septic to sewer conversions.
- Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center ($1.54 million) — funding for design, permitting, construction, and installation of parking lot and outer concourse safety and security features. A continuation of previously-funded improvements.
- Commercial Proving Grounds for Space to Sea Floor Environmental Monitoring ($1.65 million) — development of airborne and waterborne unmanned systems to test and calibrate new systems from private, educational, governmental, and military entities.
- City of Moss Point I-10 Commercial Corridor Improvements ($2.2 million) –improve access, connectivity, and safety of the Moss Point Interstate Commerce District to enhance the city’s economy and quality of life.
- Hancock County Tech Park at Stennis Airport ($2.2 million) — construct a building to house the Department of the Army’s Joint Airborne Lidar Bathymetry Technical Center of Expertise (JALBTCX), which has outgrown its existing incubator space.
- Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport Site Expansion and Facility Relocation ($3.19 million) — expand the airport’s 241-acre runway-adjacent Project Ready site to attract industrial aerospace investment. Also, demolish the antiquated vehicle fleet maintenance facility and build a new facility adjacent to the airport’s maintenance building.
- Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport Project Ready Site Mitigation and Prep ($4.18 million) — funding for the mitigating, clearing, and grubbing of an economic development site at the airport.
- Broadwater Marina Restoration Project ($5.5 million) – funding to return to public use 30 acres of state-owned lands that includes future tourism and economic development potential.
- Hancock County Fairgrounds Revitalization/Hancock County Multipurpose Arena ($6.05 million) — upgrades and improvements to the 80-acre fairgrounds and multipurpose arena including facilities and infrastructure to foster economic growth.
- Washington Street Avenue Gateway (Jackson County — $6.6 million) — construct pedestrian-friendly features including sidewalks, crosswalks, landscape the median, and install mast arm signals for safety for Washington Avenue in Ocean Springs.
RESTORE Act Spill Impact Component (aka Bucket 3) Funding
- Accelerate Mississippi Public/Private Workforce Training Partnership ($2.2 million) — develop and foster workforce development through Accelerate Mississippi in the three coastal counties.
- Coastal Habitat Management Fund ($3.3 million) — provide funding for management plans and management on existing and newly-acquired coastal preserves tracts.
- Beachfront Resilience ($4.95 million) — additional funding for enhancing and repairing Highway 90 boardwalks and sidewalks along with dune plantings and fencing to address sand migration onto Highway 90.
- Gulf Coast Center of Security and Emerging Technology (CSET) Fusion ($5.5 million) — project will focus on developing an Information Technology (IT) workforce for economic expansion, innovation, and societal growth.
- Improvement of wastewater quality and solid waste disposal from Shrimp Processing industry ($5.5 million) – funding for improvements to wastewater treatment and solid waste disposal from the shrimp processing industry.
- City of D’Iberville working waterfront and commercial seafood harbor ($6.6 million) – a project to build a mixed-use working waterfront and seafood harbor in D’Iberville.
Photo of Hurricane Katrina destruction in Gulfport, Mississippi by Gabe Raggio from Pixabay.