Harrison County

Mississippi gets two of the eight early oil spill restoration projects

Two of the eight early restoration projects proposed along the northern Gulf in the wake of the BP oil spill would be off the coast of Mississippi.

Florida, Alabama and Louisiana will each get two as well.

The ones proposed for Mississippi are an oyster restoration project for Hancock and Harrison counties that includes 1,430 acres in the Mississippi Sound -- estimated cost is $11 million. And 100 acres of near shore artificial reefs off Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson counties -- estimated cost is $2.6 million.

This draft plan is the first in what is expected to be a series of plans that will attempt to compensate the area for damages to natural resources in the Gulf caused by the BP oil spill. This includes loss of human use, explains Trudy Fisher, director of the state's Department of Environmental Quality and Mississippi's lone trustee on the board that is making decisions on these restoration projects.

"Today is an important landmark in Mississippi’s journey back from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill," Fisher said.

There will be public meetings in communities along the northern Gulf for input into the projects.

There will be one in each Mississippi Coast county.

The meetings:Jan. 17, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., Gautier Convention Center, 2012 Library LaneJan. 18, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., Westside Community Center, 4006 8th Street, GulfportJan. 19, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., Bay St. Louis Community Hall, 301 Blaize Avenue Sun Herald updates this in Thursday's editions.