BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - It’s been two years since Phil Seymour took over as camp manager at Camp Wilkes. He said in this time, he’s seen three to four feet of shoreline disappear from erosion.
“We’ve had a problem with erosion along our shoreline. There’s a lot of commercial traffic on Back Bay, and it has compounded things over the years," Seymour said.
Saturday, volunteers hauled in cement blocks and trekked through water to create three living shorelines.
“These are small concrete blocks that interlock together, will prevent further erosion and may actually help some of the natural soil come back along the shoreline," Seymour said. “The three sections that we have is going to protect the three areas where the marsh grass has deteriorated and where we’re experiencing the most erosion.”
Seymour said there’s a reason for the concrete blocks.
“There’s crushed oyster in the concrete, and that will help draw in natural marine life while acting as a break water to protect the shoreline," he said.
In the beginning, smaller shrimp and bait fish will move in. Eventually you’ll see bigger fish and water foul. It’s a project made possible through a tidelands grant and in partnership with Mississippi State University and The Nature Conservancy of Mobile. The project doesn’t end this weekend. Phase two will happen in less than six months.
“We’ve placed concrete block along the shoreline in years past, which actually instead of preventing erosion has created more erosion for us," Phil said.
Once again, volunteers will be called in to clean that up and to plant more of the natural marine grass that grows along the shoreline.
Phase two is scheduled to begin sometime in March of 2019.