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DMR sends letter to MDA over marine leasing, seismic activity

BILOXI — Jamie Miller, executive director of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, has sent a letter to the Mississippi Development Authority regarding the state’s process for leasing and seismic activity in Mississippi marine waters.

In the letter, Miller said that MDA’s rules do not contradict the Mississippi Coastal Program, but determined the DMR should continue to review any regulated activity that may negatively impact coastal and marine resources.

“The rules and regulations that the Mississippi Development Authority adopted this year regarding seismic testing in Mississippi waters do not conflict with our process for managing coastal resources,” Miller said. “However, to be clear, this agency will examine all proposals that include seismic and/or leasing activity.

“We will comply with state legislation regarding the exploration for oil and natural gas,” he said. “We also are committed to protecting Mississippi’s marine resources. The Legislature has prohibited leasing in nearly 60 percent of Mississippi state waters, including within one mile of the barrier islands and public oyster reefs. It is important that the DMR continue to review requests forseismic activity on a case-by-case basis.”

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