The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (M.D.M.R.)/Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (N.E.R.R.) is offering a free plant walk April 19th in celebration of Earth Day. Fred Nation, a local botanist, freelance writer and photographer from Daphne, Ala., will lead the free N.E.R.R. adventure: a presentation and plant walk through a pine savanna at the Grand Bay N.E.R.R. During the two hour event, Nation, an engaging lecturer, field guide and author of “Where the Wild Illicium Grows,” will give participants insight into the historic plants of Alabama, Mississippi and the central Gulf Coast. He will also point out a variety of blooming wildflowers during the stroll through this coastal habitat.
This activity will require a moderate amount of casual walking through a variety of habitats. Plants that you have a chance of seeing in bloom include pitcher plants (four types), sundews, butterworts, orchids and bladderworts. Be sure to wear old shoes or boots because the ground may be muddy in places. Bring plenty of water, bug spray, sunscreen and wear old shoes or boots and a hat. You may also want to bring binoculars because you never know what birds you might see during this time of year.
The April 19th event will run from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. (Participants should arrive at 8:30 a.m. to register.) The Grand Bay Coastal Resources Center is located at 6005 Bayou Heron Road, Moss Point, Miss. in Jackson County. Visit www.grandbaynerr.org for directions and a map. For more information, call Jennifer at 228-475-7047 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Grand Bay N.E.R.R. is located in southeast Jackson County and includes wetlands and waterways from Bang’s Lake to the Alabama state line. A major goal of the Reserve is to provide for research coordination and dissemination of scientific data to the community and local decision-makers to provide sound information on which to base management decisions.
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 M.D.M.R. online at www.dmr.ms.gov.