Public Notice – MDMR Artificial Research Reefs

The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources has filed an application with the Department of Marine Resources requesting permission to conduct regulated activities under the provision of the Coastal Wetlands Protection Act, Title 49, Chapter 27, Mississippi Code of 1972.

The applicant is proposing to construct oyster reefs in the Mississippi Sound, south of Pass Christian (Henderson Point), Harrison County, Mississippi. The goal of the project is to create oyster reefs that will be used for performing research into the methods and materials typically used for coastal restoration in Mississippi waters and the effects that coastal restoration reefs have on the local aquatic habitat. There will be 16 total oyster reefs, each 1-acre in size. The applicant is requesting a variance from Mississippi Admin. Code Title 22, Part 23, Chapter 8, Section 114.01 which states, “Permanent filling of coastal wetlands below the mean high tide line because of potential adverse and cumulative environmental impacts is not authorized,” and has justified these requests under Miss. Admin. Code Title 22, Part 23, Chapter 8, Section 118.01 by stating that “impacts to Coastal Wetlands would be no worse than if the guidelines were followed.” The applicant is requesting a change to the Coastal Wetlands Use Plan from a G (General Use) classification to a S-3 (Special Use ) ̶  Leased wetlands by the State for other purposes-in this case:  research activities. This public notice, project diagrams, and a copy of the full project application may be accessed on MDMR’s website at https://dmr.ms.gov/permitting/ .  A copy can also be mailed upon request.

In compliance with Section 401 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251, 1341), as amended by PL 95-217, the applicant will request certification from the Office of Pollution Control that the above mentioned activity will be in compliance with applicable provisions of Section 301 (33 U.S.C. 1311), Section 302 (33 U.S.C. 1312), Section 303 (U.S.C. 1313), Section 306 (U.S.C. 1316), and Section 307 (U.S.C. 1317) of the Act and appropriate requirements of the State Law.

Any person wishing to make comments or objections to the proposed regulated activity must submit those comments in writing to the Department of Marine Resources by mail to 1141 Bayview Avenue, Biloxi, Mississippi 39530 before 1:00 p.m. on the day January 17, 2022.

Comment Submission Form

You should receive an acknowledgement of your comment from by email. If you do not receive this acknowledgement, please contact greg.christodoulou@dmr.ms.gov.

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