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News Releases from Region 04

University of Southern Mississippi Receives EPA Grant to Raise Awareness of Natural and Living Shorelines on the Gulf

05/29/2019
Contact Information: 
James Pinkney (region4press@epa.gov)
(404) 562-9183 (Direct), (404) 562-8400 (Main)

Hattiesburg, Miss. (May 29, 2019) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced the University of Southern Mississippi as a grant recipient of $200,000 to develop and implement an educational tool to demonstrate the benefits of natural and living shorelines.

“Increased natural and living shorelines will provide more habitat, better nutrient filtration capacity, improved shoreline protection, and other natural benefits to the Gulf of Mexico regions,” said EPA Acting Region 4 Administrator Mary S. Walker.

Increasing population growth, sea-level rise and associated urbanization are among the greatest threat to the coastal environment, where the increasing pressure of urbanization has replaced many natural shoreline habitats with sea walls and other hardened structures.

Living shorelines (a type of green infrastructure) are a suite of shoreline conservation, restoration, and best management practice techniques that are used to provide a more sustainable long-term solution to shoreline retreat, as well as provide additional ecosystem benefits through adaptive management solutions. They are designed to maintain natural coastal processes while controlling erosion and loss of habitat for critical species. Living shoreline projects are further encouraged because of their ability to improve water quality by filtering storm water runoff, remove excess nitrates from ground water, maintain natural coastal process, and slow or stabilize erosion of the shoreline.

For more information about the Gulf of Mexico Program go to: https://www.epa.gov/gulfofmexico.

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