Governor Reeves announces his appointment for MDMR Executive Director

20-72-CWS | October 22, 2020

BILOXI, Miss. – Governor Tate Reeves announced Wednesday that Joe Spraggins will continue to lead the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR). Serving as Executive Director of MDMR since 2017, Spraggins will continue upholding the agency’s mission to enhance, protect and conserve the state’s marine interests.


“Director Spraggins served for decades in our armed forces, and earned all the respect we have to give,” said Gov. Reeves. “He’s been a steady hand on the wheel for the Department of Marine Resources–and his experience with the agency is unmatched. He knows what it takes to protect our coast, our wetlands, our marine life and everything else he has been tasked to conserve and utilize. He knows what it means to serve the people.”


“It is an extreme honor and a privilege to continue serving Mississippi as Executive Director of the state’s Department of Marine Resources,” said Spraggins. “I look forward to working with Governor Reeves, other branches of government and state agencies to enhance, protect and conserve our marine resources in Mississippi.”


Spraggins served as MDMR’s Chief Operations Officer beginning in 2013. Prior to joining the state agency, he served as Harrison County’s director of emergency management, homeland security and the E-911 Commission, which he started just days before Hurricane Katrina made landfall on Aug. 29, 2005.


A native of Alexander City, Ala., Spraggins graduated from Troy University with a degree in Resource Management. He served 34 years in the U.S. Air Force, reaching the rank of Brigadier General before retiring in 2006. He last served as Battle Commander for the Continental United States Region, Southeast Air Defense Sector under North American Aerospace Defense Command. He also served as commander of the Combat Readiness Training Center in Gulfport, and chief of staff of the Joint Force Headquarters in the Tennessee National Guard.

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