The initiative is part of a $7.5 million dollar grant
The Nature Conservancy, in partnership with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality's Basin Management Program and the Audubon Society, is in the final stage of creating strategies and restoration designs to abate threats to priority coastal streams and associated habitats. Funding from the Coastal Stream and Habitat Restoration and Management Initiative was utilized to complete Phase I of the Initiative and generate plans for both conservation and restoration design for coastal watersheds in several communities. This initiative is part of a $7.5 million dollar grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund that address high priority conservation needs on the Mississippi coast. The projects, developed in consultation with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and federal resource agencies, are designed to remedy harm to natural resources that were affected by the 2010 Gulf oil spill. The monies are the first obligations from NFWF’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, created as part of the settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice, BP and Transocean to settle certain criminal charges against both companies in relation to the spill.
Restoring Freshwater Streams Along the Coastline
“The Nature Conservancy is excited about this opportunity to partner with MDEQ, Audubon, and most importantly the coastal communities that will be involved in this initiative. Restoration of these freshwater streams is not only critical, but highlights the connection and importance of inland conservation for the health and resiliency of coastal habitats in the Gulf,” said Alex Littlejohn, Associate St ate Director, The Nature Conservancy.
The Urban Landscape Connection
These plans will be implemented as future funding opportunities become available. Audubon and TNC will be carrying out planning work in Hancock, Harrison and Jackson Counties in conjunction with local governments and citizens. Coastal Stream and Habitat Restoration and Management Initiative is focused on the tidal creeks, bayous and spring-fed streams that flow directly into the Mississippi Sound, in large part through urban areas. Many of these streams are highly altered systems yet retain some level of environmental and historic value, particularly as green corridors across the urban landscape. As such, these areas have great potential for restoration that greatly enhances their ecological value while directly engaging local communities and citizens in conservation actions. Restored streams help to manage storm water runoff, erosion and sedimentation, which negatively impact coastal marshes, beaches, and oyster reefs, and provide quality habitat for birds and wildlife negatively affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
If you would like to help support the ongoing Gulf coast restoration or other conservation projects, make a donation today.