Grand Bay NERR to hold industrial spill exercise

15-49-MMS| June 29, 2015

BILOXI, Miss. – The Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve will hold a disaster response training exercise from Tuesday, June 30, through Thursday, July 2, in the Bangs Lake area of the Reserve.


The exercise will help scientists study the effect of a simulated industrial spill into the waters, located on the western side of the NERR.


Scientists from the NERR will be supported by NOAA’s Disaster Response Center and its Aircraft Systems Program Office. Others participating in the exercise include the Northern Gulf Institute, University of Southern Mississippi, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Mississippi State University and the University of West Florida.


For two to three days, participants will study the movement of a dye plume that will simulate a large-scale release of phosphate from a nearby industrial facility. During this time, the NERR staff asks local anglers and boaters to avoid the area.


Marine Patrol officers with the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources will be at the entrance to the lake to answer questions about access.


The results of the dye study will be used at a meeting later this summer and will build on disaster response planning efforts begun after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.


State and federal partners hope this effort will result in increased readiness and enhanced resource protection in the event of an actual spill in the protected waters of the NERR.


The NERR is managed through a state-federal partnership between the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources 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