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MDEQ launches expedited habitat restoration project

MISSISSIPPI DELTA — The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has launched an expedited restoration project in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which will provide approximately 2,500 acres of enhanced mudflats and shallow water habitat for shorebirds, wading birds and waterfowl.

Staged in the Mississippi Delta and funded by BP, the project will provide additional inland refuge areas for migratory and other birds.

“We are excited about this unique project because it will provide immediate benefit to migratory birds for which the Gulf Coast area is a critical winter respite as well as native birds whose habitat may have been negatively affected by the oil spill and related cleanup activities,” said MDEQ executive director Trudy Fisher.

The project, which will involve work in two Delta counties, will focus on the creation of additional wetlands areas through controlled flooding and the improvement of levees. Work will occur in two designated wildlife management areas (WMA), the Howard Miller WMA in Issaquena County and the Malmaison WMA in Leflore County. The Foundation for Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, through a grant from MDEQ, will oversee the work, which is expected to begin before the end of the year.

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