(JACKSON, Miss.) — Gov. Phil Bryant announced today that the U.S. Department of the Treasury has issued grant awards for two Mississippi RESTORE projects. In June 2017, Gov. Bryant announced the approval of grant awards for six other projects.

“The approval of these two grant awards is another positive step for our efforts to propose and implement projects that support both the economic and natural resource recovery of the Mississippi Gulf Coast and South Mississippi resulting from the BP oil spill,” Gov. Bryant said.

The projects are:

Strategic Stream Restoration ($5 million) — The purpose of this project is to implement coastal stream restoration strategies in the three Mississippi coastal counties to improve water quality entering the Mississippi Sound. RESTORE funds will be used for planning, engineering and design, and implementation. The project will leverage the Coastal Stream and Habitat Initiative project funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (GEBF). The NFWF GEBF project partnered with The Nature Conservancy and Audubon Mississippi to engage stakeholders across the Mississippi landscape to examine and formulate a plan to restore nine coastal streams. This project aligns with the eco-restoration priorities developed by the GoCoast 2020 Commission.

Accreditation Support for the William Carey University School of Pharmacy ($1 million) – RESTORE funds will support workforce development and job creation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast as faculty and staff are hired as part of the accreditation process for the William Carey University School of Pharmacy located in Biloxi. The project will support the development of a professional degree program that will supplement the pharmacist workforce and is anticipated to create more than 40 faculty and staff jobs. Once achieved, the School of Pharmacy anticipates 60 pharmacy graduates annually. This project aligns with the workforce development priorities developed by the GoCoast 2020 Commission.

These projects are part of Mississippi’s Multiyear Implementation Plan (MIP) which includes 16 proposed projects totaling more than $80 million. The projects were proposed to the governor by the GoCoast 2020 Commission.

The RESTORE Act requires the state, through the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, to prepare the MIP for Direct Component Funding, which is administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Some of the eligible activities that can be included in the state’s MIP include: restoration and protection of natural resources; mitigation of damage to natural resources; workforce development and job creation; improvements to state parks; infrastructure projects, including ports; coastal flood protection; and, promotion of tourism and Gulf seafood.

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