Festival Focus Is Eco-Tourism - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Festival Focus Is Eco-Tourism

The owners of Moss Point Oaks say their bed and breakfast is a perfect fit with the upcoming Wild Wings River & Nature Festival.

"We've always been interested in nature," said Dan Brooks, as he and his wife Kim sat on the porch of their B-and-B on a late morning.

After raising a family in always busy Atlanta, the couple moved to South Mississippi. They quickly fell in love with the serenity and scenic beauty of Moss Point.

"Part of the natural beauty is of course the Pascagoula River. And that's the majority of it. Moss Point is sitting at the confluence of the Pascagoula and the Escatawpa. Unique on the Gulf Coast. There's not another place like this," said Dan Brooks.

Just two blocks from the river, the Brooks' say their downtown B&B is a nice fit for the festival. Moss Point Oaks is "eco-tourism-certified" and will host visitors to the upcoming Wild Wings events.

"We have the natural resources. We have the beauty in our city to attract people," says Kim.

The new Pascagoula Audubon center is a doorway to the river. Aquariums feature specimens that swim South Mississippi waters.

"That's one of the great things about the Pascagoula River basin and the estuary here. The bio-diversity is out of this world," said educator Mozart Dedeaux.

All types of birds and wildlife make the riverfront habitat home. The Audubon educator calls it a "plethora of organisms."

"Different types of heron. All the migratory birds through the system. Swallow tail kites. Alligators. All the fresh water fish," said Dedeaux.

The upcoming festival includes ten days of free and ticketed events in five different cities. One of the free events is a bird watching program called Wings Along the Bayou at Gautier City Park this Saturday and Sunday.

Participants are excited about growing the annual festival.

"And once we get on the map, it's going to go," predicted Dan Brooks.

The natural beauty of the Pascagoula River should help.

For a festival schedule, visit wildwingfestival.com

By Steve Phillips

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