The Nature Conservancy hosts Turkey Creek watershed meeting - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

The Nature Conservancy hosts Turkey Creek watershed meeting

Leah Bray and Howard Page review a map of Turkey Creek (Photo source: WLOX) Leah Bray and Howard Page review a map of Turkey Creek (Photo source: WLOX)
Tom Mohrman presenting at a Turkey Creek meeting hosted by The Nature Conservancy (Photo source: WLOX) Tom Mohrman presenting at a Turkey Creek meeting hosted by The Nature Conservancy (Photo source: WLOX)
The public input sessions will end in July. At that point, it will be a matter of designing and making sure funds are in place to take action. (Photo source: WLOX) The public input sessions will end in July. At that point, it will be a matter of designing and making sure funds are in place to take action. (Photo source: WLOX)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Several communities in Gulfport have been fighting for some time to rid their neighborhoods of flooding and contaminated waters. Turkey Creek is the source of this water, and people in the surrounding areas are saying enough is enough. Saturday, the Mississippi Chapter of the Nature Conservancy held a public meeting to discuss the next steps in this fight.

Cafe Climb played host to a meeting of community members and environmental leaders to talk about a decade old problem. Some of the communities surrounding Turkey Creek often flood, and the residents want that to stop.

For the past year and a half, the Nature Conservancy has put a two part plan into action to address the issue. The first part was a one-on-one conversation with residents.

"And then, the second part of this would be to develop a conservation action plan," said Tom Mohrman.

According to Mohrman, Director of Marine Programs for the Mississippi Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, this plan would be influenced by the people it would be affecting.

"The idea is we want to hear from the people who live in these areas and the stakeholders before we go forth and start designing stuff," said Mohrman.

Many of those in attendance are glad to see the direction this project is going, but not everyone is convinced.

"Still not 100 percent on how I feel that it's going to be better," said longtime resident Mary Thigpen.

Thigpen said that's because this particular project will be dealing with multiple sites throughout the Coast, nine to be exact, but she liked the one-on-one interaction.

For others, this is encouraging.

"It's so good that we're continuing. This is a continuation, hopefully, of what has been done," said Lettie Evans.

"We have been dealing with this a long time. In terms of the water itself, it needs to be cleaner," said Evelyn Caldwell.

She didn't know if the water quality could be brought back to its former glory. She said its current condition is unbearable.

"Compared to the way it used to be. It was beautiful, clean water," Caldwell said.

The public input sessions will end in July. At that point, it will be a matter of designing and making sure funds are in place to take action.

Copyright 2015 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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