Vol. 17 Issue 2 February 2020
News from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality
Governor Tate Reeves Announces $727,000 Grant for Long Beach

Governor Tate Reeves announced on February 12 the award of a $727,092 grant from the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (RESTORE Council) to upgrade the wastewater infrastructure of the City of Long Beach. The RESTORE Council approved the RESTORE Act project, the goal of which is to improve water quality for the Mississippi Sound and other coastal water resources by reducing the city’s wastewater overflows. Read the full press release .
Restoration Project -- Pascagoula River Corridor Land Acquisitions
An agreement was finalized on February 14 to add an additional 2,396 acres of floodplain habitat and riparian buffer along the Pascagoula River in Jackson County to the Pascagoula River Wildlife Management Area . The funding consists of approximately $5.3 million to MDEQ from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund (resulting from the oil spill) and $3.5 million to the Mississippi Forestry Commission from the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Legacy Program. This purchase is in addition to 1,100 acres acquired and added to the Pascagoula WMA in 2018. 
These parcels represent some of the remaining unprotected lands within the floodplain of the Lower Pascagoula River corridor and will benefit various wading birds, waterfowl, and fish, as well as downstream water quality. The purchase and subsequent management will result in habitat conservation and recreational benefits ( see map ).
The project is a partnership among the Mississippi Forestry Commission; the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks; the Secretary of State; and, MDEQ. The Trust for Public Lands and the Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation also participated by identifying these parcels as potential restoration sites.
Invitation for Bids - Hancock County Marsh Living Shoreline Phase 5

MDEQ is seeking sealed bids for construction of the Hancock County Marsh Living Shoreline Project Phase 5. This project is being jointly solicited by MDEQ and the Hancock County Port & Harbor Commission. MDEQ’s participation in this work is part of the Phase III Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment prepared by the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Trustees and includes the construction of approximately 46 acres of salt marsh in Heron Bay and includes dredging activities as part of the Commission's Dredging Program.  To obtain a downloadable copy of the contract documents for this project, please visit here or contact  Melanie Green.  
Save the Date -- Annual enHance Workshop

The enHance Annual Environmental Stewardship Workshop and Awards Luncheon will be held on Wednesday, April 8, beginning at 8:00 a.m. in downtown Jackson. This annual event is sponsored by MDEQ and the Mississippi Manufacturers Association. This year’s workshop will focus on topics including plant modernization, resources for a sustainable staff, community environmental partnerships, and case studies from enHance members. More information on the program is available at www.enhance.ms or by contacting Mr. Khairy Abu-Salah at KAbuSalah@mdeq.ms.gov and 601-961-5284 or Mr. Mark Williams at mwilliams@mdeq.ms.gov and 601-961-5304. Register here .  
MDEQ Partners with Local Governments to Sponsor Spring HHW Collection Events

MDEQ is providing Solid Waste Assistance Grants and technical assistance to a number of local governments throughout the state to sponsor upcoming collection events for household hazardous wastes (HHW). These collection events provide citizens with local options to properly and safely dispose of aerosols, corrosives, pesticides, herbicides, paints, used oil, batteries, automotive fluids, electronic wastes and other household hazardous materials. Read more about the scheduled events here.
Deadlines Approaching for Solid Waste Assistance Grants

Deadlines for Mississippi local governments to apply for MDEQ’s competitive and non-competitive solid waste assistance grants are April 1 (for competitive grants) and April 30 (for non-competitive grants to county governments). The competitive grant funds are available for municipalities, counties, regional solid waste management authorities, and other multi-county entities. MDEQ awarded over $775,000 in competitive grants during the October 2019 fall grant cycle. Applications for noncompetitive grant funds are available for counties only for an annual allocated amount based on the county's state aid road mileage formula. 

The MDEQ solid waste grants may be used for various types of solid waste projects and programs including clean-up of unauthorized dumps; establishment of a collection programs for white goods or other bulky wastes; support for recycling and waste reduction programs, public education campaigns on solid waste and recycling; salary support for local solid waste enforcement officers; and, household hazardous waste collection programs. For more information or to request a grant application, interested local governments should contact Taaka Scott Bailey or Tonisha Rogers at 601-961-5171.
Agricultural Pesticide Disposal Day in Tunica

A Waste Pesticide Disposal Event will be held on Wednesday, March 4, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the parking lot of the Tunica Arena and Expo Center located at 3873 U.S. Highway 61 North. There is no charge to Mississippi farmers, but farmers are responsible for safely transporting waste pesticides and tires to the collection site. Find out more here . This program is coordinated by the Mississippi State University Extension Service with funds made available through MDEQ and the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce. For more information, contact the Tunica County Extension Service office at 662-363-2911.
New TMDL Website Information

MDEQ's Total Maximum Daily Load Program (TMDL) recently launched new webpages regarding the program. A TMDL is the maximum amount of a pollutant that a waterbody can receive and continue to meet water quality standards. The new information includes an online map of TMDLs and an email list sign up form .

Fossil Road Show March 7

MDEQ Geologists will once again be on hand at the annual Fossil Road Show on March 7 at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science to help identify fossils brought by the public. Find out more here , and bring your finds!
enSearch Tip

The agency's public database of permitted facilities ( enSearch ) provides a myriad of information. That includes draft permits that are at public notice. That information can be found here .
MDEQ Social Media

Stay up to date with MDEQ's Facebook page, Twitter account, Restoration Twitter account, and Instagram . In addition to regularly posted information there are some interesting fossils and photos posted too!
Photo of the Month

MDEQ geologists in February excavated a partial skelton of the 40 million year old late Eocene age archaeocete whale ( official state fossil ) Zygorhiza kochii from the Yazoo Formation near Satartia in Yazoo County.