TIDELANDS TRUST FUND PROGRAM
Accepting Tidelands applications starting May 31, 2022.
WHAT IS THE TIDELANDS TRUST FUND?
The Tidelands Trust Fund is comprised of funds derived from the lease of tidelands and submerged lands. It is administered by the Secretary of State’s Office and Mississippi Department of Marine Resources as mandated by state law, Title 29 Section 15 of the Mississippi Code of 1972:
Any funds derived from lease rentals of tidelands and submerged lands, except those funds derived from mineral leases, or funds previously specifically designated to be applied to other agencies, shall be transferred to the special fund. However, funds derived from lease rentals may be used to cover the administrative cost incurred by the Secretary of State. Any remaining funds derived from lease rentals shall be disbursed pro rata to the local taxing authorities for the replacement of lost ad Val orem taxes, if any. Then, any remaining funds shall be disbursed to the commission for new and extra programs of tidelands management, such as conservation, reclamation, preservation, acquisition, education, or the enhancement of public access to the public trust tidelands or public improvement projects as they relate to those lands.
WHAT ARE TIDELANDS?
Lands that are covered and uncovered daily by water from the action of the tides, up to the mean line of the ordinary high tides.
The Tidelands Trust Fund Program began in 1994. Its mission is to carry out state policy by balancing the interests of upland private property owners and the general public over the use of public trust tidelands and submerged land of the State of Mississippi.
Applications for Tidelands Trust Funds are accepted by Mississippi Department of Marine Resources each year.
- An in-house compliance review is conducted by Mississippi Department of Marine Resources’s tidelands administrator to ensure that all applications are complete and legible.
- The Merit Review Committee then begins its review process. The committee is comprised of Mississippi Department of Marine Resources cadre staff and various local experts from the marine science field. Their review process follows a project selection criterion which is established by the Commission on Marine Resources. Examples of the selection criteria include, but are not limited to, level of anticipated benefits to be gained from project, level of beneficial impact/enhancement, level of need for the project and compliance with the intent of Mississippi Code § 29-15-9.
- Upon completion of the Merit Committee’s review, recommendations on projects are made to the Commission on Marine Resources. After the commissioners review the applications, they are then submitted to the Legislature for appropriation in January. The Legislature has ultimate authority in deciding the appropriation of Tidelands funds.
- Mississippi Department of Marine Resources notifies all recipients of Tidelands funds by mail in May with the amount of money their projects will receive.
- Upon receipt of funds from the Secretary of State’s Office in December, Mississippi Department of Marine Resources disburses the funds as mandated.
- Recipients of Tidelands Trust Funds sign a Tidelands Grant Agreement upon receipt of funds and are responsible for meeting the terms of the Grant Agreement. Some of these may include stipulations, such as to provide Mississippi Department of Marine Resources with a semi-annual and final report upon completion of the project, photographs (if applicable), the results of an independent audit, the presence of a prominent, permanent sign that clearly states the origin of the funds and the necessary permits for construction of projects.
The Tidelands Trust Fund Program is dedicated to the conservation, reclamation and preservation of Mississippi’s tidelands, while also proudly enhancing its current public access areas. Mississippi Department of Marine Resources takes great pride in administering the Tidelands Trust Fund to the best interest of Mississippi’s marine resources.
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|Port Security Grant Program 2020 – Pascagoula||MDMR|
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