Mississippi universities' consortium is center of excellence

State consortium is center of excellence

The Mississippi-based RESTORE Act Center of Excellence has been selected as the RESTORE Research Center of Excellence, according to the state Department of Environmental Quality.

MBRACE is a consortium made up of Mississippi's four major research institutions: University of Southern Mississippi, Jackson State University, the University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University. USM will serve as the lead institution with the MBRACE program, administered at its Center for Gulf Studies.

Following 2010's Deepwater Horizon disaster, Congress passed the RESTORE Act to direct a portion of Clean Water Act civil penalties to the states affected by the oil spill. It includes a 2.5 percent funding designation to establish Research Centers of Excellence.

The Research Centers of Excellence in Mississippi and other Gulf states will focus on science, technology and monitoring for restoration and protection, fisheries and wildlife, offshore energy development, economic growth and the monitoring and mapping of the Gulf.