HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) is partnering with Louisiana State University (LSU) and Tulane University through the Mississippi River Delta Transition Initiative (MissDelta).

The $22 million, five-year project includes 38 investigators who will seek strategies to promote sustainability of the marine ecosystem for the northern Gulf Coast.

The MissDelta initiative is focusing on the continual land disappearance of the Louisiana Bird’s Foot Delta, where the Mississippi River meets the Gulf of Mexico, anticipate coastal changes over the next decades, and evaluate best management responses.

USM Associate Professor in the School of Ocean Science and Engineering (SOSE) Dr. Kim De Mutsert is the project’s lead representative for the University.

“We will be looking at how water quality, fish, and shellfish will respond to long-term environmental changes on the coast,” said De Mutsert. “If the environment changes in a particular way, we can simulate how these organisms respond and evaluate the effects on fisheries.”