D’head leading Restore Act team
By Dwayne Bremer
Apr 11, 2014, 22:00
The city of Diamondhead wants to get its part of upcoming Restore Act funding and has invited other local entities to join it.
Diamondhead Mayor Tommy Schafer, City Manager Richard Rose, and city council members attended the Bay St. Louis City Council meeting on Tuesday to try to create a partnership with the Bay and other local entities.
"I was eating lunch the other day looking out over the Bay," Schafer said. "What did I see? I saw Bay St. Louis. What affects us, affects you."
The Restore Act, which is administered by the Department of Marine Resources, provides funding for eco-system restoration projects. Schafer said new partnership could target funding which should be available later this year.
He said Diamondhead is asking Waveland and the county to also join in its efforts.
"Let's work together on this," he said. "If you will work with us, we will work with you.”
Mark Seymour of Seymour Engineering said there are several waterways in Diamondhead and Hancock County which fall into the scope of the Restore Act. He said it would cost about $12,000 for the cities and county to plan and make the case for the funds. Eligible Restore Act projects include dredging and marsh replenishment, erosion control, and marsh enhancement. Areas in Diamondhead such as Devil's Elbow, Rotten Bayou and the Jourdan River all flow into other areas of the county, officials said. Local environmental activist Ernie Zimmerman said taking advantage of the Restore Act has many benefits.
"If we do not dredge and restore the marsh, then we are not going to have a marsh in 100 years," he said. Bay St. Louis Mayor Les Fillingame said he believes the city should join Diamondhead in its efforts.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for everyone," Fillingame said. "We are on board with it."
Schafer said Diamondhead officials will address the Waveland Board of Aldermen next week.
"We hope everyone sees the value in this," he said. "This is something that can help all of us."