MDEQ awarded $3.6M for coastal restoration

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - How do you think Mississippi should spend restoration money to rebuild the Gulf Coast following the BP oil spill? Tuesday, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality was awarded a $3.6 million grant that will be used for planning purposes as the state looks to put together a restoration plan.

MDEQ officials say part of the planning process will involve getting views, visions and plans of Gulf Coast residents.

MDEQ Executive Director Trudy Fisher said the grant money will "ensure every restoration dollar coming to our state is spent wisely and effectively."

"We only have one chance to get this right," Fisher said. "This planning money is the best instrument at our disposal for making sure everything we do in this state is coordinated, comprehensive, and realistic. It is critical that all the pieces work well together. We want to hear from the people of the Coast and today's announcement gives us the opportunity to invite every person in theGulf to take their seat at the table."

The grant comes from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Mississippi is the only Gulf state to receive dedicated planning money from the Foundation to date.

To learn more about the state of Mississippi's process for identifying priority Gulf Coast restoration projects, visit:

To learn more about NFWF's Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund in Mississippi,visit:

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