Natural beauty on the Pascagoula River - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Natural beauty on the Pascagoula River

By David Elliott – bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Boat Captain Benny McCoy promotes eco-tourism on the Pascagoula River. McCoy takes people on tours of the river basin and visitors get to see some amazing things on the river.

"It's so pretty out there," McCoy said. "Some people want to see birds, some come out to see alligators and some folks just want to enjoy the plant life."

The Pascagoula River Basin is a big part of the environment in South Mississippi.

"It covers almost one fifth of the state. It starts north of Hattiesburg and works its way south," said Mozart Dedeaux with the Pascagoula River Audubon Center.

The Pascagoula River is the last waterway in the contiguous United States which is unimpeded by any artificial structures. Dedeaux likes to remind people of why that makes the river so unique.

"It's the last free flowing river in the lower 48 states. When we have kids out here, I tell them if we were to get in a time machine and go back 1,000 years, it would look the same as it does today."

Benny McCoy believes eco-tourism could be big business on the Pascagoula River and around South Mississippi.

"I think we've just scratched the surface. We have so much to offer in coastal Mississippi."

Every April, communities in Jackson and George Counties celebrate the Pascagoula River Nature Festival. Events include bird watching, swamp and marsh tours and kayak tours. This year's festival takes place April 17-24. Click here to see a complete list of scheduled events.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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