Black skimmers flying along the beach on Mississippi’s Ship Island.Today, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) announced an award of $3.6 million for coastal restoration planning for Mississippi. This grant funding is roughly one percent of the overall NFWF monies to be distributed to Mississippi.We applaud NFWF and the state of Mississippi for committing funds to conduct comprehensive planning for restoration and management in the wake of the BP oil disaster. Using the best available science and meaningful public participation will help ensure the vision and values of the people of Mississippi are met, and an integrated coastal restoration plan is created. The outcomes of this grant provide Mississippi with the opportunity to inform all restoration priorities so that the goal of a healthy and productive Gulf of Mexico is comprehensively addressed by all funding streams.By embracing real public participation and the best available science, Mississippi can jump out ahead of Florida, Texas and Alabama in coastal restoration. Restoration dollars will flow to the states that have their act together, and today Mississippi demonstrated that it’s serious about competing.Jordan Macha is GRN’s Gulf Policy Analyst.