17-32-MMS | May 25, 2017
BILOXI, Miss. – More people will be on the water and on the islands for the Memorial Day weekend, and officials with the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources are encouraging them to prepare before heading out to have some fun.
Anyone planning to take a boat on the water should make sure it is in good running condition, as well as check all safety equipment.
“Boaters should look at their flares and fire extenguishers to ensure they work properly before taking out the boat,” said Keith Davis, chief of Marine Patrol. “Also, they should make sure there is a life jacket available for everyone on board.
“Beginning this weekend, more people will be on the water, so we encourage everyone to have a designated driver for the boat just as you would for a vehicle. We want everyone to enjoy our waterways, but we also want them to be safe.”
MDMR officials also want residents and tourists to use caution when building campfires on the islands.
Camping is permitted on coastal preserves, such as Deer Island, but campfires should be built using certain guidelines, said James Davis, a coastal resource management specialist for MDMR.
“Fires should be contained within structures and only build on open sand beaches,” he said. “This reduces the potential for wildfires on the island. An uncontrolled wildfire will cause damage to the forests on the island.”
Also, anyone camping or walking on any of the islands or preserves should make sure and pick up any trash since there are no cans or dumpsters in these areas.
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 dmr.ms.gov.