Long awaited dredging of Gautier's Graveline Bayou in the works

Long awaited dredging of Gautier's Graveline Bayou in the works

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - After nearly three years of trying to find funding to remove the large amount of sediment build up in Graveline Bayou, Gautier and Jackson County leaders say dredging work will finally begin next month.

When Hurricane Isaac hit in 2012, the storm dumped tons of sand and debris in Graveline Bayou. Neighbor Jerry Reeves has watched the situation become especially difficult for boaters.

"People who live back up the bayou there, some can't use their boats at all because the tide is much lower in the winter," Reeves said. "But even in the summer, getting out safely is a problem for a middle size and especially larger boats, they end up grounding."

There's a movement underway to fix the problem.

"This was a project that came out of some citizens' complaints after the storm," said Jackson County Supervisor Mike Mangum.

He said FEMA is paying nearly a million dollars to clean out the bayou. The dredging work should begin next month, and the goal is to increase the depth of the channel.

"We are going to remove 58,430 cubic yards of material that is inside of that channel. And that channel is 6,690 feet long and 50 foot wide," said Mangum.

Gautier officials, and those who live near the bayou say any plan to improve the quality of life and improve the city is good.

"We are very excited about this project," Gautier's Economic Development Director Chandra Nicholson said. "We have hundreds of citizens who live on the finger bayous that feed in to the mouth of the Graveline that is behind us. So the citizens utilize this waterway for fishing and recreation."

"I can definitely see the need for people who have boats and trying to use them safely," said Reeves.

Supervisor Mangum said the dredging project should take five months to complete. He said there are also plans to install channel markers in the bayou.

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