• 64°

Gulf coast restoration report released

JACKSON (AP) — A commission appointed by Gov. Haley Barbour has released its long-term vision plan for the Mississippi Gulf Coast in the aftermath of the BP oil spill.

Bill Walker, co-chairman of the Mississippi Gulf of Mexico Commission, said the report focuses on three areas: a sustainable environment, sustainable economy and programs to address mental health issues associated with the spill.

“There are prioritized projects or approaches under all three of those. The report lays out a vision for what we would like coastal Mississippi to be five or 10 years from now,” Walker, executive director of the Department of Marine Resources, said Sunday.

The report calls for quickly starting a comprehensive habitat restoration plan in key bays, estuaries and rivers, and promoting the region as a destination spot. The report also recommended the continued testing of marine habitats to restore consumer confidence in coast seafood.

The report is open for public comment for 30 days. A draft of the report has been forwarded to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, the government’s point person on Gulf coast restoration.

How long it takes for some recommended programs to be implemented would depend on the funding source, Walker said.

“If the funds come from BP, the programs will go quickly. If they come from federal agencies, they’ll go more slowly. It gives decision-makers an idea of how this cross-section of coastal Mississippi wants them to proceed.”

The report recommends Congress provide financial incentive programs to develop and restore the region’s economy, including tax-exempt bonds and other tax breaks. The report also recommends the Federal Emergency Management Agency forgive Hurricane Katrina disaster recovery loans to spur economic recovery.

Another goal was to develop long-term, sustainable mental health programs to address stress related to Katrina, the oil spill and other disasters. Those projects would target early intervention and treatment.

In August, Barbour formed the commission, which includes state agencies representatives, local government leaders and researchers.

———

Online:

Mississippi Gulf Coast Restoration Commission report: http://www.mgomc.org/images/stories/MS—Plan—Draft—20110114.pdf.

News

Natchez man killed in apparent home invasion in Moss Point

News

ACCS 8th-grader places first in state essay contest

News

Free breast exams in November yielded surprising results

News

Myers, 68, tries out acting in ABC’s ‘Women of the Movement’ series

News

CPSO investigators arrest man for stealing trailers, heavy equipment from multiple parishes

News

Officials present top priorities for legislative session in forum

News

Pascagoula native 1st female official to work a Super Bowl

News

Analysis: Transition turmoil splits Mississippi delegation

COVID-19

Sunday update: State health department reports new COVID-19 cases, deaths

COVID-19

State health department reports new COVID-19 cases, deaths

News

Merit Health nurse remembered for selfless nature

News

Florida couple start fundraiser to secure, restore historic home here

News

Two men arrested for theft, damage at old International Paper

News

Natchez projects awarded over $350,000 from MDAH grants

News

Sheriff’s office investigating shots fired in Adams County Wednesday night

BREAKING NEWS

Natchez police arrested teen in Wednesday night murder

News

More donate to Children’s Christmas Tree fund

News

Murder investigation of Natchez native now streaming on Discovery+

News

Harbor Freight Tools excited to be joining Natchez community

News

Supervisors approve contract for new engineering firm

COVID-19

State reports new COVID-19 cases, deaths

News

Adams County seeks study for new fire stations

News

Jackson State band to perform in Biden inauguration event

COVID-19

Bailey appointed interim tax collector until November special election