George Shuford Ramseur Jr., 2020. “Field of dreams: Restoring estuarine habitat and structure in Mississippi after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill”, Shore & Beach 88(1), 110-121. http://doi.org/10.34237/10088113
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Field of dreams: Restoring estuarine habitat and structure in Mississippi after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
George Shuford Ramseur Jr.
Office of Restoration and Resiliency, Mississippi Department of Marine Resources
1141 Bayview Avenue, Biloxi, MS 39530, USA
This paper presents a Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR), Office of Coastal Restoration and Resiliency, perspective on adaptation and innovation in restoration permitting, collaboration, and design in an era shaped by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (DWH). These adaptations and innovations lay groundwork to support Mississippi’s future address of challenges stemming from its ongoing geomorphic evolution and loss of primary landforms. The Round Island project in Jackson County, Mississippi (MS), will serve as a principal example. Completed through the efforts of four agencies via a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) this project helped break a long-standing practice of dumping large quantities of federal navigation channel dredged materials in an Offshore Dredged Material Disposal Site (ODMDS). Not only were 220 acres of new island and marsh habitat created in the Mississippi Sound, the Round Island project saved millions in federal navigation dollars because it could be more efficiently accessed than the ODMDS site. The Round Island project represents a collective, multi-agency step toward strategic scale, nature-based approaches more capable of managing Mississippi’s burgeoning restoration and resource needs.