NOAA issued a rulemaking in December that would provide for a 26 day Amberjack season for recreational anglers from January 1st through January 26th. The rule would close the season through June 30th to provide a stop gap measure while a secondary rule is prepared to provide for new recreational seasons during the month of May and again in August. The new rule is expected to be published in February.
The Yazoo Pumps Project that was vetoed in 2008 by the Environmental Protection Agency has been resurrected in a rider to the Senate Appropriations Committee draft FY18 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill. The provision directs the Army Corps of Engineers to “immediately” initiate construction of a $265 million drainage project that is so damaging it was vetoed by the George W. Bush Administration. The Yazoo Pumps would drain and damage 200,000 acres of ecologically rich waterfowl habitat in the Mississippi Delta to let large landowners increase agricultural production on marginal lands that have always flooded. This rider strips away all existing and future legal protections, eliminates any and all administrative and judicial review of the project, and denies citizens the opportunity to have their voices heard. The rider also commits the federal government to paying for the entire project, regardless of funding limitations or competing priorities, by requiring use of a continuing contract for the project. MWF is urging sportsmen to reach out to their Congressional Representatives and urge them to oppose this project.
As the 2018 legislative session gets underway in Mississippi, many coast businesses and legislators are making a coordinated effort to require millions of dollars in damages from the BP oil spill to be used for projects in the coastal counties that were impacted by the spill. Businesses and citizens will be at the Capital on January 11th to ask legislators to safeguard nearly $700 million in funds that will pass through the legislature and to guarantee that those funds are directed to the impacted coastal communities. MWF continues to work to have funds from the Deepwater Horizon spill obligated in a transparent, science based decision making process that ensures those monies are invested in projects and programs that support healthy coastal and marine environments, build the resiliency of our communities, and promote a strong economy.