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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration awarded $1,445,000 to the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources to continue the administration and execution of the Coastal Zone Management Program. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The grant will support the state’s federally approved CZMP, which covers Mississippi’s 359 miles of coast. The Mississippi CZMP balances the demands of industries such as commercial fishing and dockside casinos, with the need to protect the long-term health of the environment. The federal funding will assist the Mississippi coastal management program in managing coastal resources through the Comprehensive Resource Management Plan. The CRMP is a comprehensive strategy to manage the impacts of economic growth and development of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The CRMP builds the capacity of local governments to manage and protect coastal resources through coordination, partnerships and information sharing. The 34 states and territories with federally approved coastal management programs have the flexibility to make day-to-day management decisions at the state level.
Federal funding also helps the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources conserve and enhance coastal habitat, assure that federally conducted projects are consistent with the state coastal goals, and provide technical assistance to local communities, coastal preserves management, public education and outreach, and non-point source pollution control. The Mississippi coastal management program actively promotes safe and conservation conscious ways for the public to enjoy the state’s marine resources through environmental fairs and marine education on topics such as boat and water safety, marine debris and volunteer beach clean-up events.
“Balancing the need for sustainable development with the protection and management of coastal resources is a core principle within NOAA,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “This grant allows the state of Mississippi to manage its coastal resources while actively supporting efforts that reinforce NOAA’s and the Bush Administration’s commitment to the environment.”
The Coastal Management Program is a federal-state partnership dedicated to comprehensive management of the nation’s coastal resources, ensuring their protection for future generations while balancing competing national economic, cultural and environmental interests. The CZMP is authorized by the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 and administered at the federal level by the Coastal Programs Division within NOAA. For more information, visit: http://www.ocrm.nos.noaa.gov/czm/.
Each year, NOAA
awards approximately $900 million in grants to members of the academic,
scientific and business communities to assist the agency in fulfilling
its mission to study the Earth’s natural systems in order
to predict environmental change, manage ocean resources, protect
life and property, and provide decision makers with reliable scientific
information. NOAA’s goals and programs reflect a commitment
to these basic responsibilities of science and service to the nation
for the past 34 years.
**Editor’s Note - An audio clip of the NOAA Administrator discussing this grant award is available on the Web site: http://www.noaa.gov/lautenbacher/audio/czm_miss.mp3.
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