by Hunter Dawkins

Monday afternoon, The United States Army Corps of Engineers Regional Division of New Orleans declared closing of the Bonnet Carre Spillway on the 11th day after opening the flood control operation for the fifth time in five years.

The Spillway has been opened by the Corps of Engineers because of the floodwaters from the Mississippi River during this time.  These openings have caused severe damage to the marine life and seafood industry in the Mississippi Sound.

Earlier this week, the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources will start accepting proposals for projects that may receive funding from the Gulf of Mexico Energy Securities Act (GOMESA). The deadline for proposals to be submitted is 5 p.m. on June 30, 2020.

Proposals, which are restricted to projects within Hancock, Harrison and Jackson Counties, must meet one or more of the following criteria: projects and activities for the purposes of coastal protection, including conservation, coastal restoration, hurricane protection and infrastructure directly affected by coastal wetland losses; mitigation of damage to fish, wildlife or natural resources; implementation of a federally-approved marine, coastal or comprehensive conservation management plan; mitigation of the impact of Outer Continental Shelf activities through the funding of onshore infrastructure projects; and planning assistance and the administrative costs of compliance.

All proposals must include the following:

*Project name

*Point of contact information

*Project location

*Project description

*Justification (How does project meet one or more of the criteria?)

*Estimated cost and detailed budget

*Goals and objectives of the project

*Project timeline/schedule

Proposals may be submitted to Russell Weatherly at GOMESA@dmr.ms.gov or mailed to the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources at 1141 Bayview Ave., Biloxi, MS 39530.

In compliance with Executive Order 1466, the Commission on Marine Resources recently approved suspending the April 30, 2020, expiration date of commercial licenses and extend the expiration date to May 31, 2020, for commercial licenses.

Applicants are still able to obtain commercial licenses by mailing a copy of both the boat registration and the boat owner’s driver’s license, as well as a check or money order, to the MDMR at 1141 Bayview Avenue, Biloxi, MS 39530.