Writer: Ms. Bonnie A. Coblentz, MSU Extension Service
BILOXI, Miss. -- Mississippi State University received three grants Oct. 22 totaling almost $900,000 to enhance the advancement of scientific and environmental literacy among children and young people living near the Gulf Coast.
These funds were part of $3.2 million awarded in nine grants from the Gulf Research Program, part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. The awards were the first grants from this funding agency made specifically to focus on building the scientific capacity of the next generation.
The first two grants fund efforts within the MSU Extension Service, while the third funds projects within the MSU Gulf Coast Community Design Studio.
The first award is $392,000 to build sea level and flood resilience capacity in the northern gulf through students and teachers. This project is directed by MSU Extension in cooperation with the Alabama School of Math and Science, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, the Northern Gulf of Mexico Sentinel Site Cooperative, Smart Home America and the University of South Alabama.
A $400,000 grant was awarded for seeding wetland restoration and conservation in Mississippi high schools. MSU Extension and the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant direct this project in cooperation with the University of Southern Mississippi.
The final grant was of $98,000 for Magnolia Bayou: A Catalyst for Change in Downtown Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The MSU Gulf Coast Community Design Studio directs this project in cooperation with the Bay St. Louis Community Arts Center and unabridged Architecture.
Each project was selected after an external peer-review process. Funding for the National Academies’ Gulf Research Program comes from money received in legal settlements with companies involved in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster. The program has $500 million to use over 30 years to fund grants, fellowships and other activities in the areas of research, development, education and training, and monitoring and synthesis.