MDMR receives Tidelands check; nearly 30 public access projects now funded

On behalf of the Gulf Coast legislative delegation, Secretary of State Michael Watson on Tuesday presented the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources with a check for $11,226,497, representing the Tidelands Trust Funds amounts collected during Fiscal Year 2021 for use during Fiscal Year 2022. The $11.2 million is the second-highest tidelands transfer since 1997.

“As the first Secretary of State who grew up on the Coast, I have a unique perspective of our Tidelands and the significance of returning these funds to help preserve such a beautiful and important resource, improve public access and spur economic development when possible,” said Secretary Watson. “All of Mississippi benefits when the Coast works together to manage some of the state’s most treasured property.”

“The Tidelands Trust Funds represent a large annual investment from the State in coastal marsh preservation, marine education and environmental conservation of Mississippi’s marine resources,” said Mississippi Department of Marine Resources Executive Director Joe Spraggins.

“Our agency appreciates Secretary Watson and our legislators for allowing us to manage these funds that help our communities access the beautiful waterways along our Mississippi Gulf Coast.”

Revenue for the Tidelands Trust Funds is generated by leases on lands owned by the State in trust for the people of Mississippi and assessments for onshore gaming operations. Generated funds are dispersed to MDMR for programs and projects geared toward conservation and preservation of Mississippi tidelands and the increase of public access areas on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Here is a list of the funded public access projects for fiscal year 2022:

Bay St. Louis

  • Bayou LaCroix Ward 6 Boat Launch


  • Kuhn Street Boat Launch
  • Causeway Park Floating Dock Project
  • Eagle Point Park Development
  • Hiller Park Boat Launch


  • D’Iberville Working Waterfront Harbor/Marina


  • Diamondhead Noma Drive Public Access Improvements


  • Mary Walker Bayou Parks Project
  • Shepard State Park Upgrades


  • Courthouse Road Boat Launch Maintenance Dredge
  • Bernard Bayou James Hill Park Site Improvements
  • Maritime Classroom Lynn Meadows

Long Beach

  • Long Beach Harbor Improvements
  • Long Beach Pavilion, Harbor and Volleyball Area

Moss Point

  • Sunset Pier and Sidewalk Extension

Ocean Springs

  • East Beach Accessibility – Phase II

Ocean Springs

  • Sidewalk Project


  • Improvements to River Parks Piers

Pass Christian

  • West Small Craft Harbor


  • Boat Launch and Marina Planning Assistance

Hancock County

  • Clermont Harbor Pier Expansion

Jackson County

  • Race Track Road Boat Launch


  • Marine Patrol, MDMR
  • Estuarine Education Center
    Comfort Station and Area Reclamation, MGCCC
  • Seafood Museum Hurricane Zeta Schooner Pier Repair
  • MS Coastal Map, SMPD
  • Marine Education Center Pier and Kayak, USM

As of today, the Secretary of State’s Office has transferred a total of $177,175,419 to the Mississippi Gulf Coast through the Tidelands Trust Funds program. For more information about the Tidelands Trust Funds, visit the Secretary of State’s website or the Mississippi Department of Marine Resource’s website.

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