Department of Marine Resources budget issue resolved

Members of the Coast’s seafood industry are breathing a sigh of relief after the state legislature set a budget for the Department of Marine Resources.

House and Senate negotiators resolved a conflict that had put the department’s entire budget on hold, a plan for spending $46 million in federal money that Mississippi receives for oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

Local fishermen say with funding now secure for DMR and its wide range of services, from marine patrol to environmental assessments, they feel better protected.  Local Oyster Farmer Christopher Rhodes said, “The projects are endless. The science is endless. Other than the aspect of commercial fishermen, they do so much more for our environment here.”

Dawn Ross with Mississippi Commercial Fisheries United said, “They all made an agreement. We knew that they would. We had complete faith in our system and the DMR.”

The department had previously warned that employees could have been furloughed if the budget was not resolved by September 1st.

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