DMR plan to grow oysters raises eyebrows

DMR plan to grow oysters raises eyebrows

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - The Department of Marine Resources has taken the first steps to launch a major aquaculture project. One of the proposed sites is in the northeast corner of the Bay of St. Louis near Henderson Point. There's already a group opposing the plan in the Henderson Point area.

The project was discussed at the Bay St. Louis City Council meeting Tuesday night. The project calls for a 24 acre oyster farm between the Bay St. Louis Bridge and Railroad Bridge. According to the DMR, the goal is to help beef up the coast's diminishing oyster industry.

DMR leaders say there are several ways to grow oysters on the water bottom or in baskets from timber piling that could protrude as much as ten feet above the water. What method will be used in the Bay hasn't been determined.

"This was an identified priority in the Governor's Restoration Council," DMR Executive Director Jamie Miller said. "It was something we learned in the Chesapeake Bay area and Mobile, Alabama and other places that incorporated this diverse way of producing oysters for the economy and also for the environment."

Letters have gone out to residents in Henderson Point who live near the proposed site informing them of the project. They will be given an opportunity to voice their opinions about the plan through May 16, during the comment period.

Thursday night, Bay St. Louis city council members are expected to vote on whether to support the plan.

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