The Secretary of Commerce (acting through the Under Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere) and the Secretary of the Interior (acting through the Director of the Geological Survey) may carry out a long-term estuary assessment project (in this section referred to as the ‘project’) in accordance with the requirements of this section.
The purpose of the project shall be to establish a network of strategic environmental assessment and monitoring projects for the Mississippi River south of Vicksburg, Mississippi, and the Gulf of Mexico, in order to develop advanced long-term assessment and monitoring systems and models relating to the Mississippi River and other aquatic ecosystems, including developing equipment and techniques necessary to implement the project.
To establish, operate, and implement the project, the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of the Interior may enter into a management agreement with a university-based consortium.
“(d)Authorization of Appropriations.—There is authorized to be appropriated—
$1,000,000 for fiscal year 2001 to develop the management agreement under subsection (c); and
$4,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005 to carry out the project.
Such sums shall remain available until expended.”