Additional boom OK'd for Mississippi - - The News for South Mississippi

Additional boom OK'd for Mississippi

By WLOX Staff

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and the Department of Marine Resources (DMR) announced today additional layers of boom protection for Heron Bay, St. Louis Bay, Biloxi Bay, and Pascagoula Bay will begin being installed this week as another preventive layer to the boom already in place. 

State officials, BP, and the U.S. Coast Guard received input from local officials on locations for additional boom to augment what is already in place.  Mississippi currently has over 433,000 feet of boom, and this round will be more than 74,000 feet of boom. The boom ranges in various sizes from 42 inch ocean boom to 18 inch regular boom. "We will not be satisfied until BP is doing all it can to protect our Coast. 

Input from local officials was valuable as BP was able to secure this boom to focus specifically on our river system bays.  We all have learned some helpful lessons on strategic boom placement from the booming in Alabama and Louisiana including how they can be affected by currents and tides.  "This additional boom is another component of BP's efforts, and we will continue to implement other measures to improve what is already in place.  We are doing all we can to find effective countermeasures," said MDEQ Executive Director Trudy Fisher.

The plan calls for boom in these four designated areas:

      œ9,000 feet of 18 inch boom for Heron Bay,
      œ14,300 feet for St. Louis Bay (1,600 feet of 30 inch boom and 12,700
      feet of 36 inch boom),
      œ26,500 feet for Biloxi Bay (16,000 feet of 18 inch boom and 10,500
      of 42 inch boom) with additional protection at Deer Island to include
      800 feet of 18 inch boom and 2,200 feet of 42 inch boom on the north
      side of the island, and
      œ21,000 feet of 18 inch boom for Pascagoula Bay.

The size of the boom, as well as the length, will depend on the bay and the water depth.  For example 18 inch boom generally will have 8 inches of flotation device and 10 inches of skirt to help catch the water.  For deeper depths, a larger boom and skirt is needed.  The boom will have moveable gates that will allow for vessel passage.

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