U.S EPA announces $53M investment in the Gulf of Mexico

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced $53 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funding for the Gulf of Mexico.

To continue creating a vibrant and safe Coast, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe stopped in Gulfport to announce that over the next five years that $53 million in bipartisan infrastructure law funding will be spread across five states bordering the Gulf of Mexico. This is all in the hopes of advancing water quality improvements, community resilience, habitat restoration, and environmental education. McCabe said, “It’s going to go to actual projects here that will leave those communities better protected, healthier, cleaner, and safe for the future.”

The funds will go towards investing in wetland restoration, storm water treatment and control, nature-based infrastructure, resilient shorelines, and other critical initiatives. A major focus will be the Gulf of Mexico’s dead zone primarily based around the Mississippi River. “It’s picking up pollution from communities and especially from agricultural operations and a lot of nutrients gets into the water. If you have too much nutrients in the water, it can suck all of the oxygen out of the water and then the plants and the fish who are supposed to be there can’t live.”

With Gulfport being a growing coastal tourism area, Mayor Billy Hewes says it is imperative to receive funds of this magnitude. “Anytime we have somebody that wants to come and make a difference in our community, whether it’s an infrastructure, or in this case, habitat restoration improvements to our natural resources, it’s a win for all of us.”

Out of the $53 million, some of it will go towards areas like Turkey Creek, who have had a long history of severe flooding and drainage issues. Ward 3 Councilwoman Ella Holmes-Hines said, “We need that in the Turkey Creek Basin. We are already project-ready to assist with that. The $7 million coupled with this can really make a difference in Turkey Creek and trying to get that water pristine and safe again and most of all, that it will help with the flooding.”

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