Mississippi GEMS

Graveline Bay Preserve

  1. Graveline BaySite Information Point(s) of Contact: Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, Coastal Preserves Program
  2. Geographic Information: The land is located between Ocean Springs and Gautier along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
    1. Narrative Description of the Site: The wetland boundary of this 2,339-acre preserve is Graveline Bay and Bayou. One exception is the exclusion of one major tributary. Graveline Bay and Bayou represents one of few relatively undisturbed estuarine bays and small tidal creeks in Mississippi. The area supports salt marsh, brackish marsh, and several oyster beds. The bay, marsh, adjoining upland forest, and undeveloped beach front near the mouth of Graveline Bayou are an important landing area for neotropical migrant birds. This coastal bay/marsh estuarine system receives only local freshwater runoff and consists largely of mid-level needle rush (Juncus roemerianus) dominated marsh along its entire length. Smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) occurs largely as narrow (1-3 m) bands along the creeks and bayous.
    2. Date When Information Last Updated: March, 1998
    3. Location: Jackson County, N30 E 21'47" W88 E 41'41"
    4. Area of Influence: Watershed
  3. Ecological/Cultural Characteristics
    1. Habitat type: The following ecological communities are expected or known to occur: Estuarine subtidal 1) muddy sand embayment 2) small tidal creek 3) mollusk reef; Estuarine intertidal 1) sand beach 2) mesohaline marsh 3) oligohaline marsh.
    2. Rare/Endangered Species:
      1. Malaclemys terrapin Diamondback Terrapin
      2. Juniperus silicicola Southern Red Cedar
    3. Geomorphic Features: Prinstine Tidal Marsh
  4. Current and Potential Educational
    1. Recreational Use: Boaters and anglers use the area on occasional and seasonal basis for waterfowl hunting (sparingly) and fishing.
    2. Commercial Use: Fishing and crabbing
  5. Management Status
    1. Land Ownership: Lands adjacent to this Coastal Preserve are either privately, locally, state or federally owned or administered.
    2. Existing Designations: Mississippi Coastal Preserve
    3. Management Status: The State will manage this area to keep it in a natural state.
    4. Existing Monitoring Activities: Monitored by the Department of Marine Resources Coastal Preserves Program.
    5. Acquisition Potential: Active
    6. Management Needs: The State will manage the area as a coastal preserve for conservation purposes to protect ecological integrity of tidal marsh where to buy. The DMR will have direct responsibility. Much of the property is considered tidal wetlands and owned by the State.
  6. Site Viability
    1. Threats to Ecological Integrity: To the south are two fairly large failed residential subdivisions. Roads are cut, utilities are in place, but very few houses are built. Oyster beds have been closed by the DMR due to septic tank contamination and limited flushing action of bay. Increase of residential home construction without tie in to city sewer system could have adverse impact on bay. Could also result in increased sediment loading.
  7. Comments and/or Additional Information on Graveline Bay: email the Coastal Preserves Manager.