Image courtesy of MDMR
BILOXI, Miss. – In August, the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources will start on the second phase of a program to rebuild and revitalize oyster reefs in the western Mississippi Sound.
During this phase, employees and contractors will plant approximately 160 acres of cultch material on several reefs by the end of August.
“The purpose of this project is to restore Mississippi’s oyster reefs and increase future production,” said Erik Broussard, director of MDMR’s Shellfish Bureau. “By the end of the year, we will have planted more than 600 acres of cultch material. We also will do an additional planting next spring to continue restoration efforts.”
The reefs included in the August planting are Pass Christian, Henderson Point, Pass Marianne and St. Joe.
Broussard asked that fishermen with crab traps in these areas move them until the cultch planting is complete.
This project is being funded by NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service. The fisheries disaster funding was the result of the 2011 opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway, which damaged both the oyster and crab fisheries in Mississippi.
The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources is dedicated to enhancing, protecting and conserving marine interests of the state by managing all marine life, public trust wetlands, adjacent uplands and waterfront areas to provide for the optimal commercial, recreational, educational and economic uses of these resources consistent with environmental concerns and social changes. Visit the DMR online at dmr.ms.gov.