Tidelands Grants improving and building Harrison Co. boat launch - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Tidelands Grants improving and building Harrison Co. boat launches

Merlin Necaise Boat Launch in Pass Christian  (Photo source: WLOX) Merlin Necaise Boat Launch in Pass Christian (Photo source: WLOX)
$100,000 will be used to start construction on a new boat launch somewhere north of Deer Island. (Photo source: WLOX) $100,000 will be used to start construction on a new boat launch somewhere north of Deer Island. (Photo source: WLOX)
HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

More than $400,000 of work is set to be done on a couple of boat launches in Harrison County. One project will be improvements on an existing launch and another will be a brand new launch.

According to District 1 Supervisor Windy Swetman, it won't happen overnight.

"You've got to start years in advance on these type projects," Swetman said.

Swetman submitted a Tidelands Grant application in July of 2014 to fund the project. He said it usually takes a project a couple of years, start to finish, when using Tidelands Grants.

His initial request was for $400,000 to be put to use in his district to build a brand new boat launch. This launch will be somewhere along the beach north of Deer Island. He was only granted $100,000, with a chance to ask for the rest once some work is done.

Swetman said this effort was a way for the supervisors to provide for the people of South Mississippi.

"For us to be able to utilize our recreational fishing and marine resources. That's what it is," he said.

Farther west, in District 3 Supervisor Marlin Ladner's territory, an existing boat launch will be getting some improvements with a $100,000 price tag.

"By doing this, I think it will increase not only the aesthetics, but the efficiency of the launch itself," said Ladner.

This is good news for fisherman Pete Wentworth.

"It's always welcome. You can always improve on things," Wentworth said.

He has used the Merlin Necaise launch for the last two years. Wentworth said he could see several areas that need improvement, including parking and boardwalk repairs.

"A lot of times, with the tide like it is right now, it scrapes the boat instead of the rub rail on the boat. It'll get into the fiberglass on my boat," said Wentworth.

He's looking forward to using the launch even more once improvements are made. For now, he's just glad to have a place to fish and enjoy the natural beauty our Coast has to offer.

"That's one of the great things about living down here, really," said Wentworth.

Ladner and Swetman said there will likely not be any action taken until 2016. At that time, it will be a matter of getting bids and designs for the launches.

Copyright 2015 WLOX. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly