This week, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality announced six finalist teams in the Mississippi Beach Outfalls Challenge, selected from among 12 semi-finalists. The goal of the Challenge is to enhance the state’s ability to provide measurable improvements to water quality and reduce significant sources of degradation in priority bays and estuaries. The Challenge is encouraging innovative thinking and revolutionary improvements to improve the quality of water emptying into the Gulf of Mexico.
There are approximately 200 beach outfalls along Mississippi’s beaches that help move storm water out of communities to the coast. However, there is very little treatment of the water or use for ecosystem services so the outfalls have a negative impact on the water quality of the Mississippi Sound. Pollutants are found in higher concentrations near the end of the beach outfalls.
The finalist teams will present their proposed solutions to judges on June 28, at which time winners will be selected.