FEMA to pay for dredging of Biloxi Bay

Published 6:24 pm Friday, April 20, 2007

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has agreed to pay for dredging of Biloxi Bay, which is needed to remove silt deposited by Hurricane Katrina.

U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., said Wednesday that the project required FEMA to classify silt as a type of debris.

“Dredging Biloxi Bay will allow commerce along the coast to return to normal much sooner than expected,” he said.

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Plans are still being firmed up for the dates when the money will be coming and work will begin.

“We are pleased to be able to fund assistance to Mississippi cities dredging eligible Hurricane Katrina debris, freeing shipping channels, and helping restore commerce as well as recreational usage to those areas in need,” said Dennis Kizziah, acting director of FEMA’s Transitional Recovery Office.

Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., said he wanted to commend FEMA for making the right decision in classifying silt as debris as quickly as he has criticized the agency for its mistakes.

“This is a big step forward for our ongoing hurricane recovery effort, and I’m pleased that FEMA acted promptly on this local request,” Lott said. “Having our harbors free and clear of obstructions is very important to our future development.”