The growing debate in South Mississippi is progress versus preservation. Progress is taking off all over the coastal counties, but who's keeping tabs on preserving our area. One group took a major step to showing the coast that something can be done. Buck Lawrence is the President of the newly formed Land Trust For The Mississippi Coastal Plain.
"Our mission statement is to secure green places and open spaces in areas that provide cultural, scenic or historical value primarily on the coastal counties of South Mississippi."
Mark LaSalle is on the Board Of Directors for the new group and says, "It's a group of community people of various ilks that are interested in promoting the conservation and preservation of green spaces and open spaces in communities."
They formed with the idea in mind to acquire land that will serve to protect the coast and its cities; for instance, it will look to turn run down and vacant lots into parks or save wetlands by entering into a conservation easement with a developer.
Lawrence says, "He could donate what's called a conservation easement, get the same net economic benefit to him, and we would still have wetlands or more natural environments."
LaSalle says other than having land donated or entering into a conservation easement there are plenty of ways to get land. "We could get a partnership with other entities, communities, cities whatever to preserve these things, so there's a lot of options available to us."
As the first meeting ever of the group proved, there is an interest to protect green spaces and any open spaces that make South Mississippi what it has always been, a place of beauty.