Gulf of Mexico
Gov. Phil Bryant has announced six projects on the Mississippi Gulf Coast funded by the state's share of oil and gas production revenue. (Photo: Therese Apel / Clarion Ledger)

How will Mississippi spend $23 million in Gulf oil and gas money?

Mississippi will spend more than $23 million in Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act money on six projects, Gov. Phil Bryant announced on Wednesday.

In 2006, Congress passed GOMESA, to share federal Gulf oil and gas production revenue with Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas and local coastal governments.

Bryant said the latest disbursement and projects will help "protect and enhance our beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast."

The projects, which will be administered by the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, are:

  • Beach storm water outfalls in Harrison County ($4.95 million): Design, engineering, environmental, permits, survey and construction of the first phase to be built to replace or remove seven outfall pipes along the sand beach to help reduce the number of these pipes in Harrison County.
  • MDMR Marine Fisheries Dry Laboratory ($760,000): Will provide enhanced marine management opportunities by providing for the potential of a new water quality analysis lab, the ability to conduct HAB ELISA analysis in-house rather than contracting outside the agency and the ability to conduct genetic analysis of fish samples. Additional uses will include the capacity to conduct marine fish stomach content analysis, which will allow for more accurate marine management and to establish a new taxonomic fish comparative collection.
  • Oyster cultch ($1 million): Provide additional cultch to repair the diminishing oyster population. Areas to receive the cultch plant include the Western Mississippi Sound, Eastern Mississippi Sound and Biloxi Bay areas.
  • Oyster plant ($3 million): Put over 60 million oysters on shell or crushed concrete into the Mississippi Sound to provide stock and future increased spat. These oysters will be placed across the Mississippi Sound to enhance future growth of oysters in different areas.
  • Tramway ($6,688,944): Funds for the tramway will compliment local and federal funds already dedicated to the project. By tying Jones Park to the Mississippi Aquarium Campus, new educational and recreational opportunities will result. This construction will provide quality emissions-free transit services to meet an expected demand created by traffic associated with the Mississippi Aquarium, festivals and adjacent businesses.
  • Ocean Enterprise Project ($7 million): Ocean Enterprise at the Port of Gulfport will bring together state, federal and industry partners to solve challenging problems in the area of national and homeland defense, infrastructure security, environmental monitoring and disaster response, offshore aquaculture and natural resource and habitat characterization.

Read full article . . .