Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson made a visit to Bayou Auguste on Tuesday, August 30 to see a local example of restoration work underway in the state of Mississippi. Jackson was in Biloxi to lead a meeting of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force, a group created by President Obama to develop strategies for long term recovery of the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Jackson is a Louisiana native and understands the importance of the coastal environment to the people and culture of this region. As the leader of the task force Jackson has set a goal to help conserve and restore resilient and healthy ecosystems which in turn support the surrounding regions’ economies, communities and cultures.
After the scheduled meeting and listening session at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum, EPA staff organized a tour of local coastal restoration projects underway, including Bayou Auguste. Jackson, along with other Task Force members, was met at the bayou by media and many supporters of the Bayou Auguste project. David Perkes, the director of the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio, gave Jackson a brief tour and introduction of the work being done to restore the bayou.
Perkes also introduced the partners responsible for coordinating and completing the restoration, including members of the Biloxi Housing Authority, Biloxi Public Schools, City of Biloxi, Cypress Environmental Science and Management, and the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain. Perkes expressed his excitement in having Jackson see the work happening on Bayou Auguste and helping to get the word out about what can be accomplished when a community works together. Jackson was pleased to see the results of the Bayou Auguste Restoration Project and emphasized the importance of private and public partnerships to find opportunities to get more of this work done.