Thursday night in Ocean Springs, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (M.D.E.Q.) held a community work session to find out what resources Coast residents want restored in the aftermath of the BP oil spill.
About 120 residents turned out for the event. Mississippi is eligible for $356 million in grants through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. This money could be used to restore waterways and wetlands. A separate government group, the Restore Council, will also be distributing funds to oil spill affected regions, but this group came under fire from the Gulf Restoration Network for a perceived lack of community engagement.
Jordan Macha of the Gulf Restoration Network says, “There is not definition of how they will actually seeking the public participation and how they’ll be seeking public input for review, and you know, what we’re seeing tonight, we’re at the Mississippi Community Conversations for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and planning process. Mississippi is doing a good job right here tonight on seeking public engagement and seeking public input on what the priorities are with how they’re moving forward with their planning process.”
The Gulf Restoration Network points to M.D.E.Q. for its effort to engage the community.