State and federal officials held a meeting at the Harrison County Courthouse on March 7 for potential contractors who will bid to clean up inland channels and waterways in the three coastal counties. An overflow crowd of 150 demolition and salvage professionals packed a courtroom to learn from the U.S. Coast Guard and Mississippi's Department of Marine Resources
the work they will have to do to get the contracts. The federal government has issued a solicitation at www.fedbizopps.gov for the first group of several contracts to clean marine debris in Jackson, Harrison and Hancock counties. The Coast Guard said that at least 15 percent of work for each contract would have to be done by locals as a stipulation of using a possible $33 million in FEMA disaster funds for the cleanup. Bidders showing they would hire local subcontractors and workers would have a better chance of landing contracts.