Environmental Research And Education Building Underway In Moss Point

This may look like empty land to the common eye, but Wildlife Refuge Manger Lloyd Culp sees a bright future for habitat research on the coast.

"This represents a partnership between the state and the federal government to provide research and environmental education to the public," Wildlife Refuge Manager Lloyd Culp said.

A 6.9 million dollar Grand Bay Coastal Resources Center will soon take shape in Moss Point.  The new facility will be a big change from the temporary trailers Culp and his staff have been working in since 2001.

"All the folks associated with National Estuarine Research Reserve and the Refuge have been housed in trailers for the past few years, including the trailers that were flooded out by hurricane.  Finally, we will have a building."

The 16 thousand square foot facility will have plenty of office space, large classrooms, research laboratories and public exhibits.

Jackson County Supervisor Manly Barton says the future center is a great tool to enhance wetland and wildlife educational programs.

"It's a window into what it will take to protect and understand how fragile our ecosystem is and help us be able to protect (it)," Jackson County Supervisor Manly Barton said.

The new building will be environmentally friendly, and energy efficient. Grand Bay officials say it's important to build stronger and smarter for the future.

"We will incorporate things like wastewater management, reduce water usage, day lighting, natural lighting, natural landscaping," Grand Bay National Reserve Manager David Ruple said.

Grand Bay National Reserve Manager David Ruple is eagerly awaits the day when the state of the art building is finished.

The new building will be located on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service land, and it's expected to be completed by the end 2008.