Write proposals for RESTORE money

Published 7:00 am Friday, December 11, 2015

We applaud the initiative shown by the Crosby Arboretum and the other groups in the county that have applied for funds through the Mississippi Restoration Project.

On Wednesday, Gov. Phil Bryant announced the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (known as RESTORE) has approved some projects to go forward, and we are hopeful our local proposals will get the green light in the near future.

As there is still time for other governmental agencies and nonprofits to submit ideas, we would like to encourage such groups to do so.

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A map at www.msrestoreteam.com shows proposals from all over the state—from as far north as Panola and Tate counties and as far afield as far into the Gulf of Mexico, where there are proposals for shrimp restorations and weather stations. So far Pearl River County only has four proposals on the map. Considering our county has wetlands, nature preserves and rivers that are important to the ecological wellbeing of the coastal region, surely our government bodies and local nonprofits could find more than four ways to use the money.

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill hurt the whole region, but there is now a chance to improve not just the shorelines and the Gulf, but areas across the whole state. Moreover, the projects do not have to themselves preserve anything.

For example, the projects Bryant announced Wednesday include a new hangar at the Stennis International Airport, a jobs readiness program, a high-speed Internet program and other projects that can greatly improve areas of our state.

The process for writing proposal is time-consuming, and there is no guarantee a project will be approved, but considering the tens of millions of dollars available, we need to try and get some of that invested in Pearl River County.

A little time spent can’t hurt much and any extra money will be worth it.

Good luck to all who apply, and we hope to be reporting on successful projects in the months to come.