Oyster conservation center could be coming to Point Cadet

Oyster conservation center could be coming to Point Cadet

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The Biloxi City Council on Tuesday learned details of an economic development project a Point Cadet that aims to highlight the oyster industry, conservation, and eco-tourism. The project already has the blessing of the Commission on Marine Resources.

The project would include a new oyster aquaculture operation, seafood market, and conservation center, as well as an open-air pavilion.

The city's plan also calls for a public offloading dock for seafood and other marine-related needs. City leaders presented the idea to the Commission on Marine Resources earlier this month, and the CMR unanimously passes a resolution in support of Biloxi's plan.

"We would like to see it used for a combination of tourism and oyster industry revival. A seafood market place, a festival marketplace would be wonderful, but the public has a right to enjoy it and fully benefit from it. Plus, we can produce jobs and economic development as a result," said Gerald Blessey, Biloxi Counsel for Economic Development.

The proposed project would be located on the unoccupied green space next to the Point Cadet Marina, an area the city said was once known as the "Seafood Capital of the World." That land is jointly owned by the city, state, and Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning.

A news release on the city's website describes the ambitious project as "a tourism-friendly atmosphere that would transform an otherwise dormant piece of property into an open-air market where visitors could see the Oyster Aquaculture & Conservation Center and the offloading of oysters from natural reefs and aquaculture farms perhaps south of Deer Island, buy fresh oysters and seafood in a Mississippi Seafood Marketplace, or walk along an already-funded water's edge boardwalk by an expanded Point Cadet Marina that would be home to a Deep Sea Fishing Conservation and Tournament Center where larger vessels could take part in world-class deep sea fishing tournaments in the Gulf area."

The next step will be for the city to move forward with building plans and finding funding for the project.

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