The Mississippi Development Authority on Monday began taking applications for the Gulf Coast Restoration Fund.

According to the MDA's website, Gov. Phil Bryant signed SB2002 into law, which established the Gulf Coast Restoration Fund.

"The GCRF shall be used for programs and projects that have the potential to generate increased economic activity in the Gulf Coast region," the website states. "Applicants eligible for assistance include, but are not limited to, local units of government, nongovernmental organizations, institutions of higher learning, community colleges, ports, airports, public-private partnerships, private for-profit entities, private nonprofit entities, and local economic development entities."

MDA and the GCRF advisory board will review and score applications, which will be presented to the Legislature no later than Dec. 1, 2019. The Legislature will determine which projects will be funded in an appropriations bill during the 2020 legislative session, the website states.

GCRF advisory board members include: Ashley Edwards, Moses Feagin, Becky Montgomery Jenner, Jerry Levens, Mark Cumbest, Greg Conin, and Jim Simpson.

According to a release from the MDA, the money will be utilized to stimulate economic growth in Harrison, Hancock, Jackson, George, Stone, and Pearl River Counties.

In 2016, Mississippi reached a settlement with BP for more than $750 million over the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, which occurred in April 2010, the release states. Initially the state received a payment of $150 million and is set to receive $40 million annually from 2019 through 2033, the release states.

The applications can be found online at The deadline for submissions is by 11:59 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2.

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