Environmental Review Toolkit
Accelerating Project Delivery
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State="Mississippi"; Category=" all"; Collapse All
1 Practice: Project Tracking System
Categories: Environmental (NEPA) Documentation
Performance Measures/Management
State: Mississippi
Organization: Federal Highway Administration MS Division
Contact: Claiborne Barnwell
Title: Project Development Team Leader
Email: claiborne.barnwell@dot.gov
Phone: 601-965-4217
Description: Federal Highway Administration Mississippi Division environmental staff is working with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to develop a project tracking system that will interface with all MDOT divisions. The system will aid in streamlining efforts and reducing review time. FHWA will work with MDOT in 2003 to conduct a process review to recommend improvements to their standard operating procedures.
Last Updated: March 10, 2014
2 Practice: Position with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Funded
Categories: Interagency Coordination
Wildlife and Threatened & Endangered Species
State: Mississippi
Organization: Federal Highway Administration MS Division
Contact: Claiborne Barnwell
Title: Project Development Team Leader
Email: claiborne.barnwell@dot.gov
Phone: 601-965-4217
Description: The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Mississippi Division funds an environmental position with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). The biologist is dedicated to the review of highway projects within the state. Funding this position significantly improves the review times of projects, minimizes delays, and improves communication between FHWA and FWS.
Last Updated: March 10, 2014
3 Practice: Mississippi DOT Partnership to Preserve Bottomland Hardwood Forest Ecosystem in the Pascagoula River Watershed
Categories: Habitat/Ecosystem Connectivity & Conservation
Interagency Coordination
Mitigation
Public Involvement
Section 6(f) Properties
Watersheds & Wetlands
Wildlife and Threatened & Endangered Species
State: Mississippi
Organization: Mississippi Department of Transportation
Contact: Kim  Thurman
Title: Environmental Division Administrator
Email: kthurman@mdot.state.ms
Phone: 601-359-7920
Description: The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) recently invested $8.7 million in a partnership effort to conserve one of the finest remaining natural areas in Mississippi, a very large contiguous block of bottomland hardwood forest in the Pascagoula River watershed. Bottomland hardwood forest is a wetland type that is notoriously hard to restore or recreate; consequently, preservation is one of the best ways to ensure that this ecosystem is protected in perpetuity at a size that ensures viable communities. The preserve extends the habitat of the Ward Bayou Wildlife Management Area and the Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge, providing a vital link in what will be a 47,000 acre public lands corridor along the largest undammed and unchannelized watershed in the lower 48 states. In addition to forests, the preserve protects rare pitcher plan flats, wet pine savannahs, submerged or floating vascular vegetation, sandbars, and oxbow lakes along the Leaf and Chickasaway Rivers.

The joint effort between The Nature Conservancy and MDOT conserves 3,400 acres and provides banked wetland mitigation credit at less than $2,400 per acre, while preserving key habitat pressured by rapid commercial and residential development. MDOT’s investment is also supporting the development and implementation of detailed ecological restoration plans for the area and management of the ecosystem in perpetuity.

MDOT anticipates that the ecosystem conservation partnership will streamline project development activities elsewhere on the Gulf Coast by providing a source of high quality compensatory wetland mitigation. The effort reflects MDOT’s growing emphasis on environmental stewardship and partnerships in bringing about ecosystem conservation.
Last Updated: March 10, 2014
4 Practice: Gopher Tortoise Bank
Categories: Habitat/Ecosystem Connectivity & Conservation
Wildlife and Threatened & Endangered Species
State: Mississippi
Organization: Federal Highway Administration MS Division
Contact: Claiborne Barnwell
Title: Project Development Team Leader
Email: claiborne.barnwell@dot.gov
Phone: 601-965-4217
Description: The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Mississippi Division are establishing a gopher tortoise bank within the state. The bank will provide substantial streamlining opportunities and save project review time on highway projects located in the southern portion of the state - prime breeding ground for the endangered gopher tortoise. Tortoises that might be impacted on road building projects would be relocated to this authorized location, thus ensuring the survival of the species and allowing highway projects to proceed on time.
Last Updated: March 10, 2014
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