PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Eco-tourism is becoming a major industry all across the country. People love visiting an area and seeing and experiencing unique natural resources.
Kathy Wilkinson with Eco-Tours of South Mississippi ventures out into the Pascagoula River Basin. Kathy takes passengers on a tour of marshes, swamps and waterways that make up the one-of-a-kind eco system.
"The Pascagoula river is the last unimpeded river in the lower 48 states," said Wilkinson.
Kathy is part of a growing industry in Coastal Mississippi and beyond. Eco-tourism invites people to experience culture, history and the natural beauty that sets an area of America apart.
"I get to meet people from all over the world, we've had guests from all around Europe. We get people from Canada and all over the Midwest, it's great to interact with them. We take them out and all of them love it," Wilkinson said.
Wilkinson's company also offer kayak trips, cruises to the barrier islands and customized tours. Her bread and butter is boat rides on the Pascagoula river. The tours begin in Gautier, travel beyond the interstate and reveal plant and wild life in remote bayous where, if visitors are lucky, they'll get up close and personal with an alligator.
For most people, a gator sighting is the highlight of the trip.
"Sometimes it's just a fleeting glance. We often see them. That's what people really like is to see a gator," Wilkinson said.