Jackson County Residents Speak Out On Coastal Improvement Projects - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Jackson County Residents Speak Out On Coastal Improvement Projects

"This is a big investment. It is a congressionally mandated program for Congress to say to the citizens, 'What do you want,'" says Army Corps of Engineers official Brett Boston.

The Corps of Engineers invited dozens of Jackson County residents out to the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College campus in Gautier to find out how to improve Mississippi's environment after such a big storm.

"The flooding, the tidal surge that has taken most of the shoreline, it's the one chance to get in and have an impact on future projects that will protect the coastline," says Boston.

Gautier resident Ron Philips says since the storm, the canals have been filled with silt from storm waters.

"I would like to see them come dredge it out, and I would like the city to put in some rock beds in the canal to stop the silt from getting in the canal after the dredging ," says Gautier Resident Ron Philips.

And Philips is not the only one with a few ideas for the Corps.

"Restore our natural resources such as our oyster beds, our coastal marshes, our wetlands. We do not want to end up like Louisiana and sinking in to nowhere," says resident Paula Vassey.

Erosion was also a big issue among residents who say since Katrina, the problem has continued to grow.

"If they took care of the erosion first and cleaned the tributaries and the outlets and put the dirt back on the property, I think it will be replenishing and saving the ecosystem," says Gautier resident Cathy Toller.

And through this coastal improvement project, officials say they hope to solve these problems and more.

By Patrice Clark

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