Images audio

Coast Residents Comment On Latest Round of Oil Spill Projects

By Evelina Burnett | Published 17 Dec 2013 11:00pm | comments
A public meeting on the current phase of restoration projects under the Natural Resources Damage Assessment was held Dec. 17.

Mississippi Coast residents are again expressing their views on how millions of post-BP oil spill restoration dollars should be spent.

MPB’s Evelina Burnett attended a public meeting last night in Long Beach about the third phase of early restoration projects under the Natural Resources Damage Assessment.

Mississippi has four projects, totaling $70 million, on the table: a $50 million living shoreline in Hancock County; restoration initiatives at Infinity Science Center; the Popp's Ferry causeway park in Biloxi and the beachfront promenade in Pascagoula.

Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality director Trudy Fisher says NRDA funds can be used for both ecological restoration and lost recreational use.

Several of those in attendance at last night's meeting argued the restoration efforts at Infinity Science Center in Hancock County, which includes exhibits and a walking trail, don't fit the NRDA criteria. But Fisher says the project does fit the guidelines because the test in this case is the number of lost visitors.

The crowd was smaller at last night's meeting than at a previous NRDA hearing in July, and several speakers worried the timing – just a week before Christmas – and the short notice may have affected the turnout.

Roberta Avila with the Steps Coalition noted there'd been only seven business days since the 2,500 page document came out.

Avila and others asked that the the comment period deadline, Feburary 4th, be extended by 30 days. 






MPB will not tolerate obscenities, threats/personal attacks, hate speech, material that is ethnically or racially offensive, abusive comments, comments off topic and spam, to name a few. You can see a complete list of the MPB guidelines by viewing our terms of service. If you spot a comment you think violates these guidelines, report it to the moderators by clicking "x" next to the comment, then "report”. MPB reserves the right to adjust these guidelines. If you have a suggestion, please contact us.