New channel markers help direct Jackson County boaters

By Patrice Clark- bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Jackson County Supervisor John McKay and harbor master Leslie Hamm jumped on a boat Saturday morning and headed to Davis Bayou in Ocean Springs.

The two are posting new triangular and squared shaped channel markers, so boaters can stay on track while on the waters.

"Over the years, all the markers, because of storms and deterioration, have fell apart, and the markers gone away. That is all we have is poles sticking up out of the water," McKay said.

Hamm and McKay said since Hurricane Katrina, a lot of concerned boaters have been complaining about the lack of signs in the sound. The two said without proper navigational aids, boaters run a chance of getting lost or even injured.

"Mother Nature is very unforgiving, and you can get caught in a situation in the water that you can not get out of," Hamm said.

"It is like going down Highway 90 with no traffic signs, no speed limit signs and no right turn signs or whatever. You just don't know where you are going and taking a chance," McKay said.

The county has been working with the Coast Guard to replace the markers. Officials said they plan to place about 125 signs in several bayous in the county.

"We are going to have that many more made up soon, so we can have the channel in Davis Bayou, Simmons and Fort Bayou all marked," McKay said.

Harbor master Leslie Hamm said the Coast Guard transferred possession and maintenance of the channel markers over to the county. She also said the county purchased materials and made the new makers.

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