JACKSON COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - There’s good news for boaters in Jackson County. Lake Mars, one of the most popular boat launches, is finally getting dredged.
It is a sight that boater Brian Brookshire and his family are happy to see. In fact, it’s even worth a photograph or two.
“Long time coming,” he said. “But we’re really excited to see it happen.”
The Lake Mars boat launch is getting deeper after the Corps of Engineers finally came through with an approval.
The area silts up regularly and can trap boaters who go out at high tide and come back at low tide.
“The biggest issue is that you have to wait for the tides and the weather to line up to be able to utilize this boat ramp,” Brookshire said. “Now that it’s dredged, we’ll be able to utilize it purely based on the weather without having to depend on the right tidal cycle.”
The nearly $150,000 project has been more than a year in the making.
“People are happy seeing the project happen,” said Randy Bosarge, Jackson County district 5 supervisor. “I’m probably more happier than most everybody, but I share in their excitement about this project happening.”
Bosarge said this project, funded by both FEMA and the county, has a long-range permit, which allows maintenance dredging as needed without going through another permitting process.
This first phase will take the depth down to three feet with another phase later going down to five feet.
Resident Barry Fox would like to see it all done at one time.
“If they’ve got the machinery over here, why not dig it out to five or six feet and give us a little relief because it’s going to silt in again,” he said.
Fox said this project is a welcomed improvement to an already nice area.
“I’m overjoyed. It was an unusable ramp, and I couldn’t get in or out of here," he said.
Bosarge said the improvements come at a good time.
“With everything we’re experiencing at this point, with the virus and economy and all that, it’s just nice to know that the citizens of the area have this recreational asset," he said.
All the dredging spoils are permitted to be placed at Greenwood Island at east Bayou Casotte.
The project should be finished by early next week.