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White ibis

MISSISSIPPI


GEBF in Mississippi

White ibis

“Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund support is helping us implement critical conservation projects across the Mississippi Gulf Coast. We are conserving and restoring coastal habitats and taking bold steps to improve water quality. We are also working with a variety of partners to restore barrier islands and enhance marsh habitat through the beneficial use of dredge materials.” — Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves

Current Projects

To date, the total number of awards from the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (GEBF) in the state of Mississippi stands at 25, with a total current value of nearly $157 million. These projects leverage or compliment other conservation investments worth more than $115 million, creating a total impact of nearly $272 million for the Mississippi coast. These projects were selected for funding following extensive consultation with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The projects in Mississippi address high-priority conservation needs. They represent important efforts to protect and enhance natural and living resources, as well as significant planning efforts to develop future projects for consideration under the GEBF. 

To learn more about the projects the GEBF has funded in Mississippi, view the comprehensive list of projects​.

 

Project Highlights
 

Round Island, Credit: Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality 
Round Island | Credit: Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality 

Utilizing Dredge Material for Marsh Restoration in Coastal Mississippi

Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality has received more than $45 million from the GEBF to sustainably restore and create marsh habitat within St. Louis Bay, Back Bay Biloxi and the Escatawpa Watershed using dredged material. Work includes restoration of the 220-acre Round Island in the Mississippi Sound near Pascagoula that is already providing new nesting habitat for numerous shorebirds and seabirds, while providing storm protection and additional recreation opportunities.

 

Oysters
Oysters


Mississippi Oyster Restoration

Restoration of oyster resources in Mississippi Sound and associated bays and bayous remains a high-priority focal area for the state. More than $18 million in GEBF investments have provided a strong foundation to implement oyster restoration at a significant scale. The state of Mississippi remains committed to restoring state oyster resources to historic levels.
 

 

 

Purple gallinule,  Credit: Peter Brannon 
Purple gallinule | Credit: Peter Brannon 

Improving Habitat for Marsh Birds

While secretive birds such as rails and bitterns remain difficult to study, many experts agree several marsh bird species are experiencing serious population declines, a situation made worse by the 2010 oil spill. The GEBF dedicated more than $17 million to projects acquiring parcels that will protect and enhance habitats for marsh birds. Researchers in Mississippi are investigating the breeding and wintering ecology of priority marsh bird species. These studies, unprecedented in scale and focus, are expected to guide future conservation actions and help marsh birds rebound.

 

Future Projects

NFWF is engaged in consultation with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, FWS and NOAA to identify priority conservation projects for consideration under the GEBF. Review of the 2020 cycle proposals is expected to begin in the spring of 2020.

 

About the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund in Mississippi

Under the allocation formula and other provisions contained in the plea agreements, the GEBF has received $356 million for project expenditures in the state of Mississippi.

To learn more about Mississippi's process for identifying priority Gulf Coast restoration projects visit: www.restore.ms