Additional boat launch could help with harbor congestion - - The News for South Mississippi

Additional boat launch could help with harbor congestion

GCRL Launch GCRL Launch
Ocean Springs launch Ocean Springs launch
Ocean Springs launch Ocean Springs launch

It's quiet at the harbor this Tuesday. The wind is up, the clouds are thick and the seas are rough. 

But on nice weekend days during the summer, this boat launch is anything but quiet, according to Ocean Springs mayor Connie Moran.  

"It's definitely a problem. There's a lot of congestion; it's difficult for the boats to go into the boat ramp and come around and park at the harbor." Moran said. "We don't have much space there, and it creates a lot of congestion on Front Beach Drive." 

Chris Ziemba launches his boat here often. He does not disagree.  

"It can be difficult sometimes with traffic coming through, but if people cooperate, it's not real real bad. But it can be busy," Ziemba admitted. 

Another boat launch may be the answer. It's located on the property belonging to the Gulf Coast Research Lab(GCRL). While there is only one ramp, there is plenty of parking space. 

Dr. Bill Hawkins is the campus director. He's more than willing to lend a helping hand or a tow line.

"The city has been real good to us, and we feel like we're an important part of Ocean Springs. And we're making it available for use by the citizens," Hawkins said.  

While the agreement, on the surface, seems to be a good one, the city will have to meet several stipulations before any deal could be signed and boats can start launching here, Hawkins explained.

"Any liability issues, of course, would have to be absorbed by the city," Hawkins said. "We would need some signage about what's accessible and what's not on our campus, and then there are some issues of parking. But all of these things are resolvable." 

And if that happens, boaters will be out enjoying the water, instead of waiting in line.

If both sides can come to an agreement, boats could possibly be launching from the GCRL location by the end of this month. The time of operation would be from 6 p.m. Friday nights until 6 a.m. on Monday mornings.

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