Vol. 17 Issue 11 November 2020
News from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality
Mississippi Restoration Summit

The Mississippi Restoration Summit hosted annually by MDEQ was online this year and held on November 10. There was great participation this year, and for those that missed it, a recording of the webinar is available here.
Submit Project Ideas to the MS TIG
 
The Mississippi Trustee Implementation Group (MS TIG) is beginning the process of restoration planning for its Restoration Plan III and would like the public's input regarding natural resource restoration project ideas in the Mississippi Restoration Area. The deadline to submit them is November 30, 2020. Find out more and how to submit ideas here.
RESTORE Council Requesting Comments

Beginning November 16, the RESTORE Council began a 50-day public review and comment period on the draft Funded Priorities List (FPL) 3b, which will conclude on January 5, 2021. The draft FPL 3b, a recording of a public meeting webinar, and other information is available at https://www.restorethegulf.gov. In addition, a virtual public meeting for Mississippi will be held on November 30 at 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Registration details are available on the RESTORE Council's website or contact MDEQ's Office of Restoration staff.
Ozone Monitoring Results Show Continual Improving Quality of Mississippi’s Air

For 2020, no counties in Mississippi exceeded the current ozone standard set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) during this year’s Ozone Season. Ozone levels in the state have continued a downward trend in the last 10 years dropping well below EPA’s current standard of 70 parts per billion (ppb).  Read More
Newly Published 7.5 min Surface Geological Map products Available
By James E. Starnes, RPG, Jonathan Leard, GIT, Paul Parrish, RPG, and Andrew Newcomb, RPG

Geology is the basis for the environment and the state’s geologic mapping program is the core function of MDEQ’s Surface Geology Division.  Understanding Mississippi’s geology is essential for proper stewardship, responsible conservation, and protection of our state’s valuable natural resources.  Much of Mississippi’s geology has not been mapped in any great detail and many areas that have been previously mapped are in need of updating. 

Three 7.5 minute geological quadrangles in Jefferson County were recently funded and published by the USGS’s cooperative StateMap grant program. The publication of the Fayette, Union Church, and Gin Branch maps are in addition to the three other maps published under the same program last year also in Jefferson County. Jefferson County has important surface water, groundwater, and aggregate resources along with important natural ecosystems. No previously published detailed geological maps existed for Jefferson County prior to this project. This continued work will ultimately lead to the first composite geological map of the county. 

Geologic mapping is currently being done elsewhere in the Loess Bluff Region of western Mississippi. Projects this year, funded under the USGS StateMap grant, include mapping in Yazoo County. Unfunded projects also are ongoing throughout the state as our mappers are able to devote time to them, and new subsurface data becomes available through our Environmental Geology Division’s geophysical well logging program. One of these unfunded projects along the Loess Bluff’s in Tallahatchie County, the Geologic Map of the Charleston 7.5min quadrangle was just released for publication in October. This map characterizes important aggregate resources, demonstrates the hydrological relationship of surface water and groundwater for recharge for eastern portions of the Mississippi River Alluvial Aquifer, characterizes the important geomorphical relationships of the area, and provides background data for proper documentation of the area’s important geoarchaeological resources. These four new Office of Geology publications are available for free download.
Photo of the Month

Photo at the Crosby Arboretum in Pearl River County taken by MDEQ's Valerie Alley.