Jackson, MS—Governor Tate Reeves and MDEQ Executive Director Chris Wells are issuing a joint call for Mississippi Restoration project ideas.  The Governor’s Gulf Coast Advisory Committee will soon begin the process of reviewing projects and selecting those they will recommend to the Governor for implementation.  Those projects chosen by the Governor will be announced later this year.

The Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012 (RESTORE Act) established a Trust Fund for 80% of all administrative and civil penalties related to the Deepwater Horizon spill to the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust fund.  Money from this fund is used to pay for eligible restoration programs, projects, and activities.

Two of the programs are the Direct Component (Bucket 1), administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Spill Impact Component-Gulf RESTORE Program (Bucket 3), administered by the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council.  These components required Mississippi, through the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, to prepare a Multiyear Implementation Plan (MIP, Bucket 1, 2016) and a State Expenditure Plan (SEP, Bucket 3, 2017)   describing each activity, project or program for which Mississippi seeks funding. These plans are periodically amended.  In preparation of the upcoming amendments for both plans,  submissions to the project portal are being requested for both new restoration project ideas or updates to previously submitted ideas.

“The project portal is always available for submissions,” said Chris Wells, MDEQ Executive Director.  “We appreciate all engagement in this process and look forward to seeing each idea and later implementing those which are selected.”

Anyone interested in submitting a project can do so via the Mississippi Restoration Project Portal.   The site also includes a Mississippi Restoration Project Information Sheet which includes guidelines for completion. Questions about project portal idea submissions may be emailed to: restore.portal@mdeq.ms.gov.

*Funding for all projects included on the amended MIP is subject to approval by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Inclusion of a project in the amended MIP does not guarantee funding.

* Funding for all projects included on the amended SEP is subject to approval by the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council. Inclusion of a project in the amended SEP does not guarantee funding.