Celebrate the Gulf Marine Education Festival Joins Art in the Pass April 6 at Pass Christian’s War Memorial Park

13-35-CWS | March 21, 2013

BILOXI, Miss. – Come out and enjoy two free festivals at one time!  For a FREE, fun and educational event for the whole family, visit the annual Celebrate the Gulf Marine Education Festival on Saturday, April 6, 2013, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Established  over 20 years ago, Celebrate the Gulf will be held in conjunction with Art in the Pass at War Memorial Park in Pass Christian, Miss. Come enjoy lively, hands-on exhibits addressing marine and estuarine environmental issues and recreational and commercial activities associated with the Gulf.


More than 25 exhibitors have signed up for this event. Children and adults alike will get to experience everything from crawling through the ever-popular “Turtle Hurdle” to visiting a special touch tank full of marine creatures that is being sponsored by the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies.  Participants will also participate in many hands-on activities involving native plants, birds and marine life.  A special Raptor Road Show presented by the Environmental Studies Center from Mobile, Ala. will also be offered periodically throughout the festival. As a special treat for our young fishers, the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) of Mississippi will be hosting a junior fishing rodeo down on the western side of the Pass Harbor from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m for children 12 and under.


This activity is designed to link us with our sister festival, Art in the Pass, that is taking place on the same site both Saturday and Sunday. Art in the Pass is celebrating its 16th anniversary this year. Attracting a sophisticated, buying public and a talented group of national artists, this juried art festival has grown from a few local artists presenting their works to more than 100 exhibiting artists. The art festival will take place between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. April 6 and 7.


“Prizes will be awarded to the schools that send the most students to the Celebrate the Gulf event,” said Jennifer Buchanan, education coordinator for the MDMR’s Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR). “So come on out and have fun while supporting your school.”


Sponsors of Celebrate the Gulf include the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Mississippi Power Company, Northrop Grumman, City of Pass Christian, Chevron Pascagoula Refinery and DuPont. This festival is presented in partnership with the Gulf of Mexico Alliance.


For more information, call Jennifer Buchanan at 228-475-7047 or


The Grand Bay NERR is located near the community of Pecan in southeast Jackson County and includes wetlands and waterways from Bang’s Lake to the Alabama state line. A major goal of the Reserve is to provide for research coordination and dissemination of scientific data to the community and local decision-makers to provide sound information on which to base management decisions.


The 18,000-acre reserve is home to several rare or endangered plant and animal species and serves as an essential nursery habitat for numerous important commercial and recreational fish species. The Reserve is managed through state-federal partnership between the DMR and its local partners—Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Mississippi State University and the Nature Conservancy—and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources is dedicated to enhancing, protecting and conserving marine interests of the state by managing all marine life, public trust wetlands, adjacent uplands and waterfront areas to provide for the optimal commercial, recreational, educational and economic uses of these resources consistent with environmental concerns and social changes. Visit the DMR online at

 2011 Celebrate the Gulf Exhibitors 
• Institute for Marine Mammal Studies
• Coastal Conservation Association of  Mississippi
• Gulf Coast Student Chapter of the Society for Marine Mammalogy 
• Mississippi Coast Fly Fishers 
• Mississippi Museum of Natural Science 
• Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR)
  – MDMR Artificial Reef Program
  – MDMR Seafood Marketing Program
  – MDMR Seafood Technology Bureau
• Mississippi Power’s Renew Our Rivers 
• Mississippi Wildlife Federation/Adopt-A-Stream/MDEQ
• NOAA Fisheries Service
• Wolf River Conservation Society 
• U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Gulf of Mexico Program
• U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Mississippi Sandhill Crane Refuge 
• Keep Harrison County Beautiful
• The Nature Conservancy 
• Pass Christian Public Library 
• Grand Bay Coastal Resources Center 
• Dauphin Island Sea Lab 
• Pascagoula River Audubon Center 
• Lynn Meadows Discovery Center
• Dauphin Island Sea Lab
• City of Pass Christian Code Office
• University of Southern Mississippi Marine Education Center
• University of Southern Mississippi Center for Science and Math Education
• Naval Oceanographic Office/ US Navy Fleet Survey Team
• Southern Strategy


Contact: Syneathia Lett
Phone: (228) 523-4101