Gulf Coast Heritage Area to hold business summit Wednesday, Nov. 29

19-41-MMS| November 27, 2017

BILOXI, Miss. – The Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area will hold a business summit for nature-based tourism business owners and operators on Wednesday, Nov. 29.


During the summit, they will learn how their business can be recognized as a Gulf Coast Outpost, a voluntary program that begins in January 2018.


This program will recognize those businesses that are knowledgeable about the Coast’s natural environment and take steps to protect that environment by fostering environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation.


The summit will prepare business owners and operators to complete a checklist that will focus on training, sustainability and stewardship. The program is aimed at those companies whose primary business is dependent on the natural environment in Mississippi’s six coastal counties. This includes eco tours, locally owned outfitters, charter boat operators, tour guides, eco-lodges and agritourism entities.


The Gulf Coast Outpost business recognition program is part of the 2016 Nature-Based Tourism Plan for Coastal Mississippi. It was developed for the Heritage Area by stakeholders in the industry.


The Heritage Area is a program managed by the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources.


Nature-based tourism is an important component of the Heritage Area’s mission, Director Rhonda Price said.


“The Gulf Coast Heritage Area is dedicated to balancing economic development and conservation through the Gulf Coast Outpost program,” she said. “We invite those businesses interested in being a part of this voluntary recognition program to join us at the summit.”


The summit will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the West Side Community Center, 4006 8th Street, Gulfport. The event is free, but registration is required by going to


For more information, contact Bridgette Varone at or by calling 228-523-4075.


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