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DMR looking to build dike on Deer Island

GULF OF MEXICO — The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources’ (DMR) Beneficial Use of Dredge Material Program has filed an application with the DMR proposing to create approximately 50 acres of tidal salt marsh and chenier habitat on the northeast shore of Deer Island, which is currently water bottoms and pine/grass uplands.

The DMR plans to construct a dike using the dredged material.

Depending on the need for wave protection, the 3,200-foot-long and 12-foot-wide dike will end in open water or curve approximately 600 feet southwest to rejoin Deer Island. If high turbidity is not observed, the dike will be left open, which could improve flushing and allow the interior marsh to interact in a more direct way with the surrounding environment. The area within the dike is intended to hold approximately 400,000 cubic yards of dredge material over a 10-year period or until all available capacity has been filled. The area will be allowed to naturally re-vegetate but may also be augmented by plantings.

The applicant also requests a variance to the guideline in the Mississippi Coastal Program, which states, “Permanent filling of coastal wetlands because of potential adverse and cumulative environmental impacts is discouraged.”

In compliance with the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, the DMR will request certification from the Office of Pollution Control that the above mentioned activity will be in compliance with applicable provisions of the act and appropriate requirements of the state law.

Any person wishing to make comments or objections to the proposed regulated activity must submit those comments in writing to the Department of Marine Resources at 1141 Bayview Ave., Biloxi, MS 39530, and the Office of Pollution Control, P.O. Box 2261, Jackson, MS 39225 before 1 p.m. March 21.

Source: Mississippi Department of Marine Resources

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