Wave Maker's News: Conservation Dollars Funding Environmental Destruction

 

This article is excerpted from Wave Maker's News, our quarterly update on all things water in the Gulf of Mexico, check out the full newsletter here.


 

IMG 1881Disturbed beach in Pass Christian as construction begins. How does one keep a straight face while creating new environmental impacts with money meant to restore or mitigate for old ones? For the answer, you can look to the state of Mississippi, and the city of Pass Christian in particular, where dredging for a harbor expansion began December 15, 2011 on fifteen hundred feet of what was formerly public beach. This project is funded partly by the federal Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP), which is designed to compensate coastal states for the adverse impacts of offshore oil and gas exploration by funding projects that restore and protect coastal natural resources. Dredging this harbor impacts the beach, the shallow water bottoms and fish and wildlife habitat.

The irony and contradiction of using coastal restoration money to pay for any part of a new dredging project was not lost on the Federal Minerals Management Service (MMS) two years ago when they rejected this project, along with a similar project in Long Beach, Mississippi. What happened? Last year after the BP oil drilling disaster, MMS was punished, restructured and renamed. During this time, the applicants moved fast to amend and resubmit their rejected CIAP requests. In the ensuing agency confusion, and with a little congressional arm twisting, the Pass Christian and Long Beach harbor expansions were resurrected and funded. Dredging new harbors under the pretense of restoring the coast means that other CIAP projects that followed the program’s purposes and deserved funding were cut. What a shame.

Andrew Whitehurst is GRN's Assistant Director of Science and Water Policy.

Tags:

Recent Posts

The House of Representatives actually got something right. In an age of growing frustration at...
Written by Christian Wagley
Friday, 07 December 2018
Senior Policy Director Matt Rota recently penned an op-ed for The Advocate about the red...
Written by Kendall Dix
Tuesday, 30 October 2018
Imagine showing up for a day at the beach and being told that you’re on...
Written by Christian Wagley
Monday, 29 October 2018
This article was originally published by the Marine Fish Conservation Network . As a fisheries...
Written by Kendall Dix
Monday, 29 October 2018
As the sun is still rising into a warm fall day, I pile into a...
Written by Christian Wagley
Tuesday, 23 October 2018
As with all who are following the devastation from Hurricane Michael, I’m shocked and saddened...
Written by Christian Wagley
Wednesday, 17 October 2018
Many Americans have never heard of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), despite the...
Written by Raleigh Hoke
Friday, 12 October 2018

Latest Actions

SHARE THIS PAGE