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MDEQ announes finalists in Beach Outfalls Challenge

Photo courtesy of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality
The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) announced today that it has named the finalist teams to proceed to the final phase of its Beach Outfalls Challenge.
“The finalists have developed promising solutions that have the potential to improve water quality in the Mississippi Sound,” said Marc Wyatt, Director of the Office of Restoration at MDEQ. “We are pleased by the overwhelming participation by the public and incorporated their feedback into the selection of our finalist teams from the pool of 12 semi-finalists announced in April.”

Finalist teams are:

  • Team Allen Engineering and Science – Jackson, MS
  • Team GSRC/Compton – Baton Rouge, LA
  • Team MMMM – Biloxi, MS
  • Team SALT (In stream) – Bay Saint Louis, MS
  • Team SALT (On beach) – Bay Saint Louis, MS
  • Team Sustainable Outfall Solutions – Biloxi, MS
Each finalist team will prepare a presentation detailing its solution for the judges to evaluate at the Beach Outfalls Challenge Showcase, to be held at 9 a.m. on June 28, 2017, at the Fleming Education Center Auditorium at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park campus in Long Beach.  The event will be open to the public.  The Showcase will conclude with the announcement of the winners of the Beach Outfalls Challenge.

Approximately 200 beach outfalls can be found every few hundred yards along Mississippi’s beaches and provide an important stormwater function to the communities along the coast. However, these beach outfalls currently act only as conduits, transporting stormwater from communities on the coast to the Mississippi Sound with very little treatment of the water or ecosystem service delivery functions, which impacts the water quality in the Mississippi Sound.  Quantities of nutrients (i.e., nitrogen and phosphorus) and pollutants are found in significantly higher concentrations in the water near the end of the beach outfalls.

The goal of the Beach Outfalls Challenge is to enhance Mississippi’s ability to restore and maintain ecological integrity of priority bays and estuaries by providing measurable improvements to water quality and reducing significant sources of degradation. The Beach Outfalls Challenge will serve as a catalyst for innovative thinking and revolutionary improvements that can dramatically improve the quality of the water emptying into the Gulf of Mexico.
For more information on the finalist teams or to follow the final phase of the competition, please visit http://beachoutfallschallenge.org/.

For more information on the Beach Outfalls Challenge Showcase, visit our Facebook event page.

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