STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University’s College of
Veterinary Medicine and the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies will
receive $1.25 million to evaluate the impacts of the Bonnet Carré
Spillway opening on dolphins and sea turtles in the Mississippi Sound.
Gov. Phil Bryant announced the funding Friday [Sept. 27]. The
research and evaluation will be supported by Gulf of Mexico Energy
Security Act funds, which support coastal conservation, restoration and
hurricane protection. The research will provide state and federal
leaders with a more complete understanding of the spillway opening’s
impact on marine life, as well as effective mitigation methods to reduce
The Mississippi Sound and its adjacent waters are home to the largest
dolphin population in the United States. It is also a critical habitat
for the most endangered sea turtle species in the world, the Kemp’s
ridley. In 2019, dolphin mortalities have increased by over 100 percent
from previous years. Read more click here.