K - 20 Mini-grants in Mississippi
The Alliance's Education Team supports environmental education in Mississippi by providing the following K-20 mini-grants:
- Jackson State University for Website for Aquatic Plants
- Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center for Camp Leonardo-Where Science Meets Art
- University of Southern Mississippi GCRL for WETMAAP Gulfwide
Low-Tech Nutrient Reduction
The determination of healthy levels of nutrients is an important step toward reducing their impact, and providing vital management tools. Establishing nutrient criteria for coastal waters and estuaries could improve their quality and productivity, but the challenge is to eliminate only the excess nutrients while maintaining adequate levels to ensure ecosystem productivity. The Low-technology Nutrient Reduction Strategies Evaluation provides a collaborative approach to evaluating low-technology water management structures to reduce excess nutrients leaving farm fields during storm water events that ultimately drain to the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico.
Mississippi Delta Nutrient Reduction
Implementation of the Mississippi Delta Nutrient Reduction Strategies began in December 2009. This effort illustrates the progress that can be made to reduce nutrients when stakeholders work together to achieve shared goals of an improved environment, sustained economy, and enhanced quality of life.
To date, progress highlights of the implementation include:
• The Delta is being targeted as part of a state-wide survey to determine stakeholder knowledge and attitudes about excess nutrients.
• Tailwater recovery/on-site storage systems are being implemented and water conservation practices are being documented through collaboration of the implementation team.
• Sediment, total nitrogen, and total phosphorus reductions over the past two decades because of sediment and water management practices are being documented in Steele Bayou, a MRBI Priority Watershed in the Delta.
• Total nitrogen reduction through low-head weirs and riparian buffers is being documented in Delta watersheds.
• A system of tiered monitoring sites has been established in the Delta to evaluate the success of implementation through watershed projects and Mississippi River Basin Initiative.
• A web-based compendium of Mississippi water quality data from Mississippi DEQ, US Geological Survey, and US Army Corps of Engineers is complete and available at http://www.deq.state.ms.us.
Kay Whittington and Trey Cooke
Mississippi Homeowners Handbook for Natural Hazards
The Mississippi Homeowners Handbookwas created by the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Coastal Community Resilience priority issue team to help homeowners prepare for natural hazards to reduce risks to family and property. While it is never possible to eliminate all damage from a natural hazard, homeowners can take action and implement many small and cost-effective steps that could significantly lower risk. The handbook includes sections on how to prepare before the storm, mititgation measures to increase residential resilience, and insurance options available to homeowners in Mississippi.
Nutrient Reduction in St. Louis Bay
The NASA Applied Science & Technology Project Office at Stennis Space Center (SSC) is using satellites, in-situ measurements and computational modeling to study relationships between water quality in St. Louis Bay, Mississippi and the watershed characteristics of the Jourdan and Wolf rivers from 2000-2010.
This in-situ data was used to develop, assess and validate satellite data products. In phase one, existing data sets were processed to estimate parameters of interest such as chlorophyll a, total suspended solids, and colored dissolved organic matter. In phase two, spatial and temporal analysis techniques were used to examine relationships between the watershed and St. Louis Bay water quality characteristics. In the final phase, BASINS/HSPF analysis is being performed on the data to provide parameter values for water quality studies. This information will provide the basis to determine effective strategies to reduce nutrients into the Bay of St. Louis.
Outreach & Education Mini-grants in Mississippi
The Alliance's Education Team supports outreach efforts in Mississippi by providing the following mini-grants:
J.L. Scott Marine Education Center - Students & Community Outreach Symposia
Mississippi State University - Community Grass Gardens
Regional Sediment Management Master Plan for Coastal Mississippi
A regional sediment master plan drafted for coastal Mississippi in 2002 has been updated by CH2M Hill on behalf of and in collaboration with the HCRT. The revised plan will reflect the current state of coastal features and sediment dynamics since severe storm activity passed through the region. Stakeholder communications and thorough research have produced updated inventories of potential projects and sediment resources.
Read more, get the full report.
Larry Parson and Carl Ferraro
Sea-level Rise Modeling, Storm Surge Analysis and Conservation Analysis in Mississippi
Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge
The Alliance's Habitat Conservation & Restoration Teamcompleted sea-level rise modeling on five National Wildlife Refuge Study areas, including the Mississippi Sandhill Crane refuge. These sites were selected from a list of 21 refuges that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service had proposed modeling for but that had not been funded. Proposed sites for which available data did not meet HCRT minimum data requirements were trimmed from that list.
Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
This project began in 2008 when the HCRT partnered with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to assess potential impacts to coastal habitat as a result of sea level rise. TNC's expertise and work with ecosystem assessment made them a locigal choice to lead the project.
During the conduct of this project, the HCRT set data criteria for The Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM) modeling to guide future site selection and to improve results.
Read more, get the full report.
StormSmart Coasts Network in Mississippi
After Hurricane Katrina, the Mississippi Gulf Coast understands the need for preparedness. The Mississippi StormSmart Coasts web site is customized with information relative to Mississippi, including categories such as "Before the Storm", "During the Storm", "After the Storm", and "Funding." The accompanying professional networking site, StormSmart Connect, allows local decision makers to share information with one another through profiles, groups, and forums.