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Keesler, MSU shoreline project receives $6.48 million

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kimberly L. Mueller
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss.-- The National Coastal Resilience Fund project, a partnership between Keesler AFB and Mississippi State University, received a grant totaling $6.48 million for Jan. 1, 2023, through Dec. 31, 2026.

The project will construct a 2.5 mile protected and stabilized shoreline made of natural materials such as plants, sand, or rock, known as a living shoreline, to combat coastal erosion estimated at one foot per year and protect against the effects of sea level rise and storm surge.

“This project serves as the second largest living shoreline project along the Mississippi coast and helps ensure mission resiliency for the Air Force,” said Verónica Brieno Rankin, 81st Civil Engineer Squadron Installation Management Flight Chief. “Even though the project will not occur on the base proper, the shoreline where we conduct our activities, have our marina, actions of that nature are still in the area of study and will benefit the Keesler AFB community.”

The living shoreline will be developed and monitored on marsh lands and shoreline adjacent to Keesler AFB, the Biloxi Veterans Administration Medical Center and the City of Biloxi Hiller Park. Monitoring the effect of the project assesses the effectiveness of different living shoreline designs at increasing resilience and enhancing the area for wildlife.

“We will provide guidance to the project team regarding proposed activities to ensure the development of the living shoreline does not limit installation operations, while enhancing coastal resiliency,” said Brieno Rankin.

This project is one of seven National Coastal Resilience Fund projects receiving funding from the Department of Defense Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other partners.

“By leveraging funding from multiple federal agencies, we can advance this project’s implementation at a rate that would be unachievable without shared support,” said Brieno Rankin.