AP NEWS

Work begins on changes to Mississippi beach drain pipes

March 25, 2019

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) — Construction to overhaul beachfront drain pipes along the Mississippi Gulf Coast has begun.

Work started recently on the first of a number of pipes to be replaced or removed in Harrison County using $5 million in offshore oil and gas revenue shared by the federal government, WLOX-TV reported.

Drainage pipes have marred and created water quality problems along the manmade beaches of the Mississippi Sound for decades. The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality is also running a separate experiment to improve water quality by building small beachfront wetlands in several places.

Ultimately, as many as 300 current pipes could be replaced or consolidated.

The Biloxi work is being paid for with part of Mississippi’s allocation of $23 million in Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act funds. Gov. Phil Bryant, in allocating the money, said the work would improve the visual appeal of beaches and reduce erosion.

A number of other projects are also planned with the money

— $6.7 million will be spent on a tramway connecting waterfront Jones Park and the Mississippi Aquarium in Gulfport

— $4 million will be spent on improving oyster habitat with $1 million to lay hard surfaces for growing oysters and $3 million to place 60 million oysters.

— $760,000 will be spent on a new Department of Marine Resources laboratory to analyze water quality and take fish samples.

— $7 million will go to establish the Ocean Enterprise center at the Port of Gulfport.

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Information from: WLOX-TV, http://www.wlox.com