Visitors Already Taking Notice of Beach Renourishment

Officials at the Sand Beach Department say crews replenishing the sand on Harrison County beaches are ahead of schedule and should be finished before Memorial Day Weekend. That's when summer kicks off and many tourists will be flocking to the beach. But as Danielle Thomas found out, some visitors have already started taking notice of some of the changes.

As he watched his six year old daughter play in the sand, Darrel Bonhamme of Louisiana couldn't help but notice there was more sand for her to play with than the last time he visited the Gulf Coast.

"I noticed how attractive the surroundings is around the beach and they did a big improvement on the sand and the grating of the beach," Bonhamme said.

Officials at the sand beach department say the county is required to replenish the beach every so often to protect the seawall, but that's not their only motive.

"It enhances the beach effort here and gives the tourists something to come down and enjoy and the community itself something to be proud of," Director Bobby Weaver said.

Officials say crews are almost finished in Gulfport and will soon be making their way toward Long Beach and Pass Christian. Some tourists say they appreciate the county protecting what many of them consider the coast's greatest asset.

Recent weather has created some problems for work crews. The heavy rain has uncovered pipe damage that hadn't been noticed before. Officials say sink holes formed around the pipes. Crews will begin making repairs on Monday.

by Danielle Thomas