Friday, May 24 2013 6:49 AM EDT2013-05-24 10:49:03 GMT
It's a voyage that helps introduce tourists to those small waterfront towns that they may not ordinarily think to visit. A cruise ship docked in Biloxi on Wednesday night. Then on Thursday, passengersMore >>
It's a voyage that helps introduce tourists to those small waterfront towns that they may not ordinarily think to visit. A cruise ship docked in Biloxi on Wednesday night. Then on Thursday, passengers visited several attractions including the Biloxi lighthouse and the visitors center. The Grande Caribe set sail from New Orleans and will continue on until it reaches St. Petersburg. Crew members said it's the stops along the way that makes these small cruises stand out.More >>
Monday, May 13 2013 12:24 PM EDT2013-05-13 16:24:04 GMT
MARION COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - A weekend-long drug raid left 22 individuals behind bars, and more arrests to come. According to Marion County Sheriff Berkley Hall, the drug raid is the result of severalMore >>
A weekend-long drug raid left 22 individuals behind bars, and more arrests to come.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 5:38 PM EDT2013-05-23 21:38:18 GMT
The picture of a George County dog set on fire is disturbing. Authorities say the circumstances surrounding how fire consumed the dog are shocking. According to George County Sheriff Dean Howell, 20-year-oldMore >>
Socks, the dog reportedly burned this week by his owner, has died. That word comes from a George County Sheriff's deputy. Socks succumbed to injuries suffered after 20-year-old Brandon Pierce allegedly set his dog on fire Tuesday night. The suspect told deputies he torched the dog because he "wanted to help the dog go to heaven."More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 10:07 PM EDT2013-05-24 02:07:07 GMT
"Study the past if you would define the future." Those words were once said by Confucius and those are the words the Historical Society of Gulfport strives toward for its city. Wednesday, that societyMore >>
Hoping to highlight Gulfport's history, members will be making that building a museum and welcome center for the city.More >>
An 87-year-old grandmother took on billionaire Donald Trump. And on Thursday - she lost.More >>
An 87-year-old grandmother took on billionaire Donald Trump. And on Thursday, she lost.More >>
PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) -
Oyster fishermen in Mississippi will be facing a tough season this year. That prediction comes from Scott Gordon, who oversees the oyster industry for the Department of Marine Resources.
The oyster reefs are still recovering from the effects of several disasters.
DMR is wrapping-up the most recent cultch planting on the oyster reefs south of Pass Christian. That's the process of helping revive and restore the reefs by spreading limestone or crushed oyster shells in the water. Gordon says this latest planting project comes at a critical time.
Captain Kenny slowly guided the "Conservationist" out of the Pass Christian Harbor on Monday morning. The destination is the Pass Marianne oyster reef, some four miles offshore.
Barges, rather than fishing boats are working the waters this day, spreading limestone over the oyster reef.
"Typically, we try to do our cultch plant activity in the spring, and then later in the late summer, early fall. And we try to time it like that to coincide with our peak "spat" set where the oyster larvae happen to be in the water," said Gordon.
Water cannons blast the limestone off the barges, spreading it across the reef area.
Workers man the water guns like some giant arcade game; taking aim at the disappearing piles of rock.
"It's over 34,000 cubic yards of limestone we've deployed. And we have also deployed 30,000 cubic yards of oyster shell."
Mississippi's oyster industry has been hit with a variety of disasters in recent years, both natural and manmade.
Just as the industry was beginning to show significant recovery following Hurricane Katrina, along came the BP oil spill. That was followed by this summer's severe drought and then finally the impact of freshwater intrusion from the spillway opening in Louisiana to help ease flooding along the Mississippi River.
"From our sampling, we estimated to have in excess of 85 percent morality on all of our western reefs. So that's where I'm hoping this cultch plant is going to help out and give us a kick start so we can get these reefs recovered," said Gordon.
It will take up to two years for baby oysters to reach legal market size once they settle on this newly planted reef material. Gordon says the planting project is critical to reviving the reefs.
"The oyster industry and the number of people that are employed and are dependent on it. It's vital to the state and to the economy of the coast," said Gordon.
Oyster season typically runs from October until April. At Tuesday's meeting of the Commission on Marine Resources, Gordon will ask for the opening of a "limited season" this year. It will likely open sometime next month, but the date hasn't been decided yet.
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