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State Asks Coast Residents to Submit Project Ideas

By Rhonda Miller | Published 07 Jul 2011 11:30pm | comments
Camille Tate, right, offers project ideas to DEQ biologist Mike Beiser in Biloxi.

BP is giving Mississippi $100 million to restore natural resources damaged by the oil spill.  MPB’s Rhonda Miller reports some of the projects will begin as early as this Fall.

Camille Tate of Bay St. Louis is leaning over a map of the Mississippi coast explaining her project to a state biologist. It’s a public meeting in Biloxi hosted by the state Department of Environmental Quality. Tate says her group, Women of the Storm, has submitted several projects.

"One of which was to build a hatchery, or several hatcheries in the bayous and rivers, to be able to have a supply of fish, should this happen again, so we can continue to have fish having fish having fish. And the other portion of that is we want to have all of the marshes cleaned," Tate said.

This $100 million is just the start of environmental restoration projects funded by BP. Mike Beiser is a biologist for DEQ.

"We are going to hopefully begin the restoration process, begin putting things back together, and hopefully minimize damage. We don't want to let this damage linger," Beiser said.

Lynn Rouse of Pascagoula is retired from an industrial supply business.

"I wanted to encourage them to buy from Mississippi, hire from Mississippi. In the past this oil recovery and clean-up there was a lot of boat owners from Louisiana who bought their people from Louisiana," Rouse said.

With $100 million dollars in new projects ready to start in the next few months, jobs are on the way. State officials say they’re temporary jobs.  But this early restoration is just the beginning. A Natural Resource Damage Assessment is in progress, and BP is expected to be funding restoration projects for many years to come.  Rhonda Miller. MPB News. Biloxi.



Camille Tate, right, offers project ideas to DEQ biologist Mike Beiser in Biloxi.



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