The Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area Program (MGCNHA) is funded by the National Park Service and the State of Mississippi. It supports economic growth in the state’s lower six counties by focusing on the natural, cultural and historical resources in the Mississippi Heritage Area.

Charnley-Norwood House

The Charley-Norwood House is a late 19th-century cottage that heralds a turning point of residential architecture in the United States, whose authorship has been claimed by both Louis H. Sullivan (1856-1924) and Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959.) This house exhibits many of the traits that would come to be associated with 20th-century Modernism, such as functionally, spatial flow, natural materials, fenestration that erases inside-outside parries and integration into the landscape. Compared to its contemporaries, the Charnley-Norwood House exhibits a degree of clarity and austerity not witnessed before in residential design. This beautifully restored historic site is managed by the Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area. Tours are given upon request by emailing heritage@dmr.ms.gov.

Nature-Based Tourism

The Nature-Based Tourism (NBT) Plan for Coastal Mississippi plans for years of economic growth in Mississippi’s coastal counties. While encouraging a local culture of natural resource stewardship, it also proposes strategic planning, marketing and management actions to achieve an optimal balance between growth and conservation. It also serves as a model for the development of a statewide Nature Tourism strategy. Under the management of the MDMR, the outcomes of the plan to date are: increased professional and marketing resources for nature tourism businesses, the establishment of the Gulf Coast Outpost recognition program and the development of a Blueways design guide to increase natural recreation opportunities for locals and tourists.

Heritage Community Grants

To help accomplish the goals and objectives of the Management Plan, MGCNHA offers matching grants to provide and leverage funding for innovative projects across the region that preserve, interpret and develop heritage resources that expand economic opportunity. Funding for grant program is provided by the federal government through the National Park Service. 

2020-2021 MGCNHA Community Grants

BILOXI, Miss. – The Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area (MGCNHA) is seeking applicants for its 2021 Heritage Community Grants program to promote understanding and enhancement of the heritage areas in the lower six South Mississippi counties.

The purpose of the MGCNHA program is to enhance, conserve and provide connectivity to cultural resources of a unique and defined area through identification, interpretation and promotion. These cultural resources of National Heritage Areas provide authentic experiences and serve as a source of pride and identity. Stakeholders in this effort benefit from increased awareness and appreciation of their environment, history, culture, traditions and lifestyles.

The economic effects of heritage resources benefit the entire region and support the long-term enhancement and conservation of those qualities that make National Heritage Areas unique. The MGCNHA, working through the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, administers the National Heritage Area program for the lower six South Mississippi counties.

MGCNHA is a partnership of communities, businesses, governmental agencies, non-profit organizations and individuals who value the region’s rich cultural and environmental diversity, history, natural beauty and traditions. These partnerships tell the Mississippi Gulf Coast’s story of its national significance. Visitors experience the Heritage Area through a set of integrated themes that forefronts the Coast’s unique qualities and emphasizes the important role the region has played in history.

Grants likely will range from $500 to $50,000. Funds for the MGCNHA’s grants program are provided by the federal government through the National Park Service.

Entities that are eligible to apply include city, state and county governments, universities, non-profit organizations and recognized Gulf Coast Outpost businesses.

There will be a conference call at 11 a.m. on Monday, April 19, for those who have questions about the applications. For call-in information, email heritage@dmr.ms.gov. Applications are available at dmr.ms.gov and msgulfcoastheritage.ms.gov. The deadline for submissions is Monday, May 17, 2021. 

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.