Gulf Guardian Award Winners 2006
Partnership Category - 1st Place
The Governor of Mississippi, Haley Barbour, established the Governor’s Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding and Renewal. This Commission was chaired by Mr. Jim Barksdale, who along with the Knight Foundation donated $1 million each to finance the Commission’s work. The effort was charged with a task of boggling magnitude: 45,000 homes and businesses in three counties damaged or destroyed, and all needing to be redesigned and rebuilt better than it was. This effort brought local citizens and decision makers together with experts and resources necessary to plan a rebuilding effort that is unprecedented in the Country. The Commission identified needs, opportunities, and in many cases the resources to solve the problems. Environmentally, it recognized the priority of providing proper wastewater treatment during the rebuilding effort. The Gulf Regional Utility Act is probably the most important piece of environmental legislation since the creation of the environmental agency in Mississippi. This legislation, along with the $500 million in funding will assure proper protection of Mississippi’s southern most water bodies.