Median Sea Oats Overtaken By Weeds And Grass

Sea Oats create an eye-catching view along several stretches of beach in Harrison County. Along the medians, however, the plants seem to get lost among the grass and weeds.

"Oh, it looks like weeds," said Evelyn Hardy of Biloxi.

When asked if she could tell the difference between the Sea Oats and the weeds, Hardy laughed and answered, "Not really."

"There are some Sea Oats, and they're sprigged in there," said Sand Beach Director Bobby Weaver. "The challenge we have is so much vegetation is thriving more so than the Sea Oats are."

Weaver says the state Transportation Department planted the Sea Oats in June to create a natural beach scene.

"I think the architect's plan was the Sea Oats would multiply as they do on the beach. They'll grow seedlings," Weaver said. "I understand it's not the most pleasing thing to look at right now."

Crews are only using weed eaters to trim the edges, and signs warn mowing crews to keep out.

"We understand there's a lot of complaints. I've heard it," Weaver said. "I try to stress to them that we're trying to give it the opportunity. We're working with the architect to see what we can do in the meantime. To physically get in there and cut the vegetation from the Sea Oats is very labor intensive."

Weaver hopes the Sea Oats will eventually thrive and look much like the ones that have been planted in front of the Schooner Pier in East Biloxi. But to get them to look like that will take a lot of labor and manpower.

"You will have to come in here and cut this by hand, or a small trimmer or something to be able to pull this material back," Weaver said. "We're working to try to find out whether there's a way to get it to work, or it will end up having to be cut."

Weaver hopes once the weather cools down and the grass won't be as thick, his crews will be able to devote more time to the weed problem.

MDOT Project Engineer Steve Twedt told WLOX News, "We hope the Sea Oats will eventually choke the weeds. We are still in the process of landscaping, and the plants have not had the opportunity to establish themselves yet. Once the project is completed, I think everyone will be satisfied with the finished product."