March 7, 2016, 1 p.m. CST: The Environmental Law Institute will host a webinar, "Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts: Using Coordination and Leveraging to Enhance Gulf Restoration," that will bring together representatives from federal, state, and local government to discuss how coordination and leveraging are playing a role in Gulf restoration. The goal of this webinar is to understand what opportunities are available, and what more can be done, to make Gulf restoration greater than the sum of its parts.
To register for the webinar, visit: http://eli-ocean.org/gulf/webinarseries/
March 1, 2016, 10 a.m.: MDEQ hosted a webinar to provide Mississippi stakeholders an opportunity to learn more about the Mississippi Gulf Coast Restoration Plan developed under a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The webinar provided an overview of the Plan, MCERT, and the DSS restoration tool.
Notes summarizing webinar: MDEQ Restoration Plan Webinar march 1 2016.pdf
February 1-4, 2016: 2016 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference
March 1, 2016: The Obama Administration announced that the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council chair position will rotate from U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, effective March 2016.This transition builds upon the significant progress that the Council has made since its establishment in July 2012 in response to the Deepwater Horizon spill. With an approved Initial Funded Priorities List that invests and prioritizes $183 million in restoration projects, the Council will pivot its attention to developing the next iteration of the Comprehensive Plan and begin to prioritize projects to receive funding from BP settlement funds.
February 19, 2016: The Deepwater Horizon natural resource trustees—representatives from Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, NOAA, DOI, USDA, and EPA—have proposed to accept the $8.1 billion settlement from BP to resolve their liability for natural resource injuries stemming from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
As a next step in this process, a final version of a comprehensive programmatic assessment and restoration plan and programmatic EIS for the Gulf of Mexico, incorporating public comment received in late 2015, has been released. This plan would allocate funds from the settlement over the next 15 years.
Additional information: http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/2016/02/update-on-the-comprehensive-restoration-plan-for-the-gulf-of-mexico/
Federal register notice: https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2016-03299.pdf
January 12, 2016: The State of Mississippi’s initial Multiyear Implementation Plan (MIP) was made available for public review and comment in accordance with the RESTORE Act.
November 13, 2015: Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative funds 22 new research grants: $38 Million Awarded to Study Effects of Oil on Gulf of Mexico"
November 10, 2015: National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) has awarded a third round of projects to the State of Mississippi totaling almost $30 million
October 16, 2015: Mississippi Based RESTORE Act Center of Excellence (MBRACE) has been selected as the RESTORE Research Center of Excellence. MBRACE is a consortium made up of Mississippi’s four major research institutions (USM, JSU, UM, MSU) with the University of Southern Mississippi serving as the lead institution with the MBRACE program administered within the University’s Center for Gulf Studies.