Neither Improvement Projects Nor Construction Stop Beach Lovers

For months, birds were the only living creatures you may have seen on South Mississippi beaches, but Sunday's sunny weather lured out several groups of people.

"I am going out with my team. We're checking out what's going on around here, hitting the beach. It's a beautiful day," Nico Vail said.

Vail is an Americorps volunteer from Minneapolis. She and fellow volunteers traded their hammers for beach towels to enjoy the sand and surf. They didn't let the orange netting and tattered piers keep them from enjoying the sights.

"You know, looking around, I see all these piers and stuff that are washed away, and I wished I could get a picture of what it used to look like, but from what I see, it's pretty beautiful. The sand is soft. I like it," Vail said.

It was Jessica Fielder's first time on a South Mississippi beach.

"This is the first day it's been warm enough to be out here, but we're having fun, playing football with our husbands," Fielder said.

A massive sand beach replenishment project began last October in Harrison County. Sand Beach Authority Director Bobby Weaver says dredging and structural repairs to storm drains, open outfalls and equipment ramps will continue through August.

People we talked to say construction and unfinished projects at the beach will not interfere with their decision to hit the shoreline as the temperature rises.

"Doing the construction and stuff, it's a little bit different, but it's still nice," Ashely Thompson said.

Weaver says the Sand Beach authority will soon advertise for bids on rebuilding the boardwalk.

A concrete walkway will replace the wooden boardwalk that was used before Katrina.