Alternative bulkheads could be the next big waterfront thing

Alternative bulkheads could be the next big waterfront thing
Alternative bulkheads could be the wave of the future (Source: Photo WLOX)

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Officials with the Department of Marine Resources unveiled a new concept today called an alternative bulkhead. This might soon be a new way to build a “traditional” bulkhead.

Instead of wooden boards installed right on the water’s edge, alternative bulkheads use marsh grasses and the natural surroundings to create a different kind of breakwater.

Marine construction workers would receive free training on the alternative method.

DMR officials say the new bulkheads would cost about the same as a traditional bulkhead, but they have a distinct advantage that could increase waterfront property values.

“Alternative bulkhead designs, with the marsh grasses incorporated within them, make more shrimp, crab and fish, which we all want. Our back bay in Biloxi and Bay St. Louis will actually create and do what they used to do about 70 or 80 years ago,” explained Dr. Paul Mickle, the chief scientific officer for DMR.

The new bulkheads won’t be required, but DMR officials are certain most homeowners will want them.

Training should begin by late this year, and the first alternative bulkheads could show up by the middle of next year.

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