OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - What was once a storage space for Department of Marine Resources boats will soon become the Ocean Springs Harbor Green. Monday, the Ocean Springs Board of Aldermen approved a memorandum giving the city access to the land.
The overgrown property is just to the west of the Ocean Springs harbor house. It's about an acre of land owned by the DMR, but the city and county have agreed to help DMR make it beautiful.
"It's been a place that needed some kind of improvement, whether it is the boat ramps or the roadway itself," said Ward 4 Alderman Greg Denyer.
The property is owned by the DMR, but they needed help with upkeep. Mayor Connie Moran felt like it would make the perfect space for a public green space.
"We can have special events like fishing rodeos, or when we have Smokin' the Sound. There are several boat slips there that we can use for law enforcement, DMR, sheriff's office, or our own city police and fire," said Moran.
Another part of the Master Harbor plan will include widening the road, so that boaters will no longer have to block traffic while launching their boats.
"We're going to put another roadway that's actually probably west of the existing road where the cars that come down the beach can go down and around the harbor," said Denyer.
The landscaping will be made up of native plants, so there will not be an irrigation system, which will require less maintenance.
Mayor Moran also said there will be a lot of history behind the green space's name.
"We will name it honor of Dr. Thomas D. McIlwain, who was a long time harbor commissioner, former yacht club commodore, also worked with the Institute of Marine Sciences at Cedar Point," said Moran.
They will break ground on the project within the next few weeks. The mayor believes the green space will be finished in about two months, and the master harbor plan will take about a year.