Jun 06 2012
Mississippi Dept. of Marine Research Awarded FY2012 Funds
Contact: Chris Gallegos, 202-224-5054
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss) today announced that Mississippi has been awarded two grants totaling more than $1.72 million in FY2012 funding to support estuary and coastal zone research and monitoring programs on the Gulf Coast.
The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (DMR) is the recipient of the two National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) grants, which include $1.14 million through the Coastal Zone Management Act and a $587,190 Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) Operations Grant.
“The Gulf Coast of Mississippi is an ecological treasure that endures natural and manmade challenges. Through these grants, NOAA aids in our understanding of the coast and estuaries so that we will be able to continue to protect and enjoy them,” Cochran said.
The Coastal Zone Management Act grant will support federally-approved coastal management programs administered by the DMR, including coastal preserves, outreach activities, legal and public education. The grant will also support an “Alternative Shoreline Management” 309 project that includes an inventory and assessment of hardened shorelines within the bays and estuaries of the Mississippi coastal zone, as well as a review of state and federal wetland regulations, policies and guidelines related to hardened shorelines.
The NERR grant will be matched with $251,653 in state funds from the Mississippi Tidelands Trust Fund and other sources. This award will support operations research and monitoring, education training, and stewardship activities through June 30, 2013, at the 18,000-acre Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in southeast Jackson County.
Cochran is vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee that in April approved the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Bill with $3.4 billion for NOAA in FY2013. The committee-passed measure does not support the administration’s budget request to terminate NOAA research programs important to the Gulf of Mexico. Instead, the bill presents alternative savings by consolidating management offices and reducing government overhead. At a hearing in March, Cochran voiced his opposition to the lack of focus on the Gulf of Mexico in the NOAA budget proposed by the President in February.