NFWF Webinar and FAQs

Do you have performance metrics for systems assessment? For example, multiple projects interacting together (ex: oyster reefs?)

We don’t have a performance metric for systems assessment. From a monitoring perspective, MDEQ is putting in place a set of monitoring metrics under which individual project performance metrics are achieved but are able to coordinate across habitat types to inform a systems assessment.

Can you explain how you decide the programmatic input into DSS? Where does the idea come from?

Programmatic inputs for the DSS come from a variety of sources such as stakeholder engagement events, Community Conversations, Resource Summits, and public meetings. Programmatic inputs can also stem from leveraging opportunities from other restoration funding streams or from other funding mechanisms in general. Programmatic inputs can also come from science-based professional judgment. All projects ideas for all restoration projects stem from projects submitted to the Restoration Project Idea Portal. Please Click Here to visit the Project Submission Portal.

How can a for-profit entity submit a proposal that outlines a successful plan for restoration and sustainability?

All projects submitted into the Restoration Project Idea Portal are considered during the development of all projects and programs. Please Click Here to visit the Project Submission Portal.

Is anything in the works to stop erosion at Grand Bay, Point Aux Chenes area?

No, there is currently no such project underway.  However, suggestions for this project or for similar types of projects or programs to address restoration concerns in the Mississippi coastal landscape should be submitted via a project proposal to our Restoration Project Idea Portal. All projects submitted into the Restoration Project Idea Portal are considered during the development of all projects and programs. Further, you can review submitted projects in the Restoration Project Idea Portal. Please Click Here to visit the Project Submission Portal.

How have you all worked with neighboring states who are doing similar but not identical planning projects to align efforts across state boundaries?

MDEQ is committed to coordinating all restoration efforts across all DWH restoration funding streams and recognizes the need for cross-state coordination. There is on-going dialogue with neighboring states regarding coordination of restoration efforts. Further, representatives from neighboring states served as technical reviewers for the Plan.

Can you explain the priority, if any, of engaging local community members in the process and work of restoration (jobs)?

The State of Mississippi and MDEQ continue their commitment to engage local communities in the restoration process through various tools such as public meetings and webinars. MDEQ provides the latest information via the restore site and through a text messaging and email service. To sign up to receive emails, please Click Here.  If you would like to receive text messages alerts from MDEQ, text the word mdeqrestore to 95577.

How can I get more information about the grant?

Please Click Here for more information related to the NFWF planning grant award.

Have you identified any sites slated for coastal restoration projects?

MDEQ’s current project sites as well as information for all of our restoration project locations can be viewed on the Story Map. Click Here.

How are marine resources that are not directly linked to a specific habitat accounted for in the evaluation of restoration potential? For example, shrimp, sea turtles, and marine mammals?

MCERT is not habitat driven. The planning units of MCERT incorporate a species distribution model and density data based on observations from partner organizations. These data have a seasonal component to better understand movements in the Mississippi Sound throughout the year. Any new data that become available are incorporated to influence restoration potential. To learn more about MCERT Click Here.

If we have an idea for a project, how do we propose the idea to receive potential funding for a small business?

To submit a project proposal, please visit the Restoration Project Idea Portal. All projects submitted into the Restoration Project Idea Portal are considered during the development of projects and programs. Please Click Here to visit the Project Submission Portal.

Speaking to the importance of leveraging project outcomes and restoration dollars, how are these tools being used to guide the dialogue with our neighboring states as well as federal agencies?

The State of Mississippi and MDEQ utilize MCERT and the DSS to inform restoration decision making in Mississippi. Information is and will continue to be shared regularly with state and federal partners as restoration work continues.

On the marine planning areas, seemed that a large area of the Mississippi Sound in-between the islands and coast is not considered high priority at this stage. How do we account for connectivity and monitoring sustainability and restoration of highly mobile top predators (e.g. dolphins)?

MCERT and the Restoration Effort Index evaluate restoration effort on a planning unit basis that is contingent upon adequate environmental resource and stressor impact data. The lack of data in the Mississippi Sound between islands and coast is reflected in the REI. Any project, whether towards marine mammal restoration or something else, would have gone through the DSS which asks the question whether the project will be sustainable. MDEQ puts in place monitoring of each restoration project to ensure that the performance of sustainability occurs and that metrics of connectivity can be accounted for. To learn more about the MCERT tool Click Here.

How can the public provide meaningful data to update the plan?

If you have meaningful data that can be added to the Plan, please Click here to send an email to

How do you account for environmental resources that have limited data or that annually shift their locations?

MCERT is beholden to the data that are currently available and any new data that we can incorporate from either implemented restoration projects or existing projects that have new information. MDEQ is constantly trying to collect and discover as much data as we can. For transient species, we are endeavoring to collect that data from state and federal agencies as the data become available. To learn more about the MCERT tool.

How do we offer IEP for all citizens?

MDEQ endeavors to offer various mechanisms for educating the stakeholders of Mississippi about the Mississippi Gulf Coast Restoration Plan. This effort has included translated materials for bilingual communities and webinar opportunities, as well as public meetings.

Can you go back to the ranking of ease of effort and pick a spot like Cat Island and explain what the green means?

In other words, take us to an area and show us why high or low effort makes sense there? The public can view and explore data in all planning units using the MCERT Explorer.To use Cat Island as an example, some areas have a Very Low Restoration Effort Index (REI) score. This score is due to a high level of environmental resources (SAV, estuarine marsh, natural beach, species critical habitat, etc.) and low level of threats/ stressors. As an example of restoration, those areas could be protected under some form of conservation. This restoration effort would be relatively low to maintain ecosystem functioning at this location and maintain the high level of ecosystem diversity.

What is the sampling scale, or area, of the hexagons noted in the marine environment?

Approximately 200 acres.

Outreach and education was important to the people you spoke with. How are you getting this information out to the lay public? Are you being successful?

New and updated information is posted here regularly. In addition, the public is engaged and updated through public meetings, webinars, email messages, and text messages. To sign up to receive emails, please Click Here. If you would like to receive text messages alerts from MDEQ, text the word mdeqrestore to 95577.

Thanks for doing this webinar. What is the deadline to comment on this Version 1?

It is anticipated that the public comment period for this iteration of the Plan will end fall 2016. As the date approaches, MDEQ will publish an announcement informing the public of the closing of the public comment period.

Mapper looks really good. Are the MCERT REI subwatershed and hex data layers available via Web Mapping Service (WMS) to be harvested into other applications?

At this point, a WMS does not exist for MCERT data. However, we will work with partners who are interested in migrating the data into other applications or data viewers.

This is a great coordinated approach to restoration. Is there potential for NFWF to promote this concept in other states?

For information on NFWF projects in other states, please contact the respective state’s NFWF coordinator. Additional information about the NFWF Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund. For information on NFWF projects in other states, please contact the respective state’s NFWF coordinator.  Click Here for additional information about the NFWF Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund

Do restoration actions require approval of county leaders?

All restoration actions receive the requisite permitting and implementation approvals.

How does this plan inform the planning for the projects eligible for other portions of the RESTORE money, for instance, the direct component project list that was released in December?

The State of Mississippi and MDEQ leverage the NFWF Plan, MCERT and the DSS across all funding streams, where possible.

Why did you not use some measure of conservation benefit as the performance metric for the DSS tool?

Every project that is run through the DSS tool is questioned to ensure success and sustainability of the respective project. Ensuring success and sustainability in implementation will deliver a suite of conservation benefits associated with the respective project (e.g., water quality improvement, secondary productivity, nest survival etc.). These benefits are often monitored as performance metrics of individual projects.

For the 2016 round of NFWF proposals, can you provide some details on the types of projects you are considering for this next round?

At this time, MDEQ is evaluating several priority inputs through MCERT and the DSS.

Are the terrestrial planning units 12-digit HUCs?

The planning units are catchment-scale sub-watersheds that are at a higher resolution than HUC 12 watersheds. Multiple catchments will be present within one HUC 12 boundary.