Bulkhead Proposed For Ocean Springs' Front Beach - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Bulkhead Proposed For Ocean Springs' Front Beach

"It's just nice to be able to walk in the sand, and then relax your feet in the water and just like play on the edge," Ocean Springs resident Marcia White said.

"We come out here to soak our feet in the water because it's so cool and nice," Ocean Springs resident Jessica Byrd said.

Twice a week Jessica, Marcia, and their friend Kimberly Rosscup travel to Front Beach in Ocean Spring to relax. Now that school's out, they plan to make the beach their second home.

"During summer breaks, me and my friends love to go swim. It's a lot of fun," Rosscup said.

They don't like the idea some Jackson County officials have to bulkhead the area, making it resemble a sand box along the shoreline.

"It will look unattractive," White said.

"I would not want to come to a beach and see a cement wall," Rosscup said.

These three were among the other hundred people at the Water Front Action Plan meeting.

"I see a safety issue for people who can fall off or hit their head, or if there are barnacles that grow on the bulkhead," Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran said.

"Against the shoreline is a little extreme. Maybe closer to the seawall where you can have a natural shoreline where kids can play along the beach," Ocean Springs resident Bruce Tolar said.

Jackson County Supervisor John McKay believes many people have the wrong idea when they think of bulkheading.

"We are not talking concrete," McKay said. "We are talking about sheet piling driven into the ground and it's exposed two and a half to three feet, and back fill it with pure white sand."

Pascagoula's beach front is surround by a bulkhead. McKay says if the same thing is done at Front Beach, it will stop the erosion problems and save tax payers more than $40,000 spent on replenishing sand.

"Nothing says a Katrina will not come along and the waves would be high enough that it won't do some damage on shore. But on our normal storms, we have protection on the beachfront and it will protect that roadway and stop from eroding away."

Mayor Moran says the Corps of Engineers is conducting a study to see how to protect parts of Front Beach from eroding. The Water Front Action Plan Workshop will continue through Thursday at the Ocean Springs Civic Center.

by Patrice Clark

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