Coast Guard Begins Bid Process For Marine Debris Cleanup

It's been more than seven months since Hurricane Katrina swallowed South Mississippi, yet the evidence still remains scattered throughout our coastal waterways.

The U.S. Coast Guard has been tasked by FEMA to hire contractors to remove the marine debris. Mississippi's Department of Marine Resources is partnering with the Coast Guard in Mobile to get the job done.

They say the task ahead of them is large, and they hope to get local contractors involved in the process.

"We've gotten our first set of bids, our first nine sites in three coastal counties," Coast Guard Captain Ed Stanton said.

"Part of the slowness of our process is we're not using emergency contractors. We're going out for fixed bid contracts, which means it's free and open competition for everyone, so we're hoping to get some local contractors involved."

The project includes all waterways south of I-10 and extends four miles south of the coastline.

There are about 200 more sites the Coast Guard still needs to contract out. They expect the project will take more than a year to complete.