TIDELANDS TRUST FUND PROGRAM

Accepting Tidelands applications starting May 31, 2020.

WHAT IS THE TIDELANDS TRUST FUND?

The Tidelands Trust Fund is comprised of funds derived from the lease of tidelands and submerged lands. It is administered by the Secretary of State’s Office and Mississippi Department of Marine Resources as mandated by state law, Title 29 Section 15 of the Mississippi Code of 1972:

Any funds derived from lease rentals of tidelands and submerged lands, except those funds derived from mineral leases, or funds previously specifically designated to be applied to other agencies, shall be transferred to the special fund. However, funds derived from lease rentals may be used to cover the administrative cost incurred by the Secretary of State. Any remaining funds derived from lease rentals shall be disbursed pro rata to the local taxing authorities for the replacement of lost ad Val orem taxes, if any. Then, any remaining funds shall be disbursed to the commission for new and extra programs of tidelands management, such as conservation, reclamation, preservation, acquisition, education, or the enhancement of public access to the public trust tidelands or public improvement projects as they relate to those lands.

WHAT ARE TIDELANDS?

Lands that are covered and uncovered daily by water from the action of the tides, up to the mean line of the ordinary high tides.

PROGRAM HISTORY

The Tidelands Trust Fund Program began in 1994. Its mission is to carry out state policy by balancing the interests of upland private property owners and the general public over the use of public trust tidelands and submerged land of the State of Mississippi.

 

Applications for Tidelands Trust Funds are accepted by Mississippi Department of Marine Resources each year.

  • An in-house compliance review is conducted by Mississippi Department of Marine Resources’s tidelands administrator to ensure that all applications are complete and legible.
  • The Merit Review Committee then begins its review process. The committee is comprised of Mississippi Department of Marine Resources cadre staff and various local experts from the marine science field. Their review process follows a project selection criterion which is established by the Commission on Marine Resources. Examples of the selection criteria include, but are not limited to, level of anticipated benefits to be gained from project, level of beneficial impact/enhancement, level of need for the project and compliance with the intent of Mississippi Code § 29-15-9.
  • Upon completion of the Merit Committee’s review, recommendations on projects are made to the Commission on Marine Resources. After the commissioners review the applications, they are then submitted to the Legislature for appropriation in January. The Legislature has ultimate authority in deciding the appropriation of Tidelands funds.
  • Mississippi Department of Marine Resources notifies all recipients of Tidelands funds by mail in May with the amount of money their projects will receive.
  • Upon receipt of funds from the Secretary of State’s Office in December, Mississippi Department of Marine Resources disburses the funds as mandated.
  • Recipients of Tidelands Trust Funds sign a Tidelands Grant Agreement upon receipt of funds and are responsible for meeting the terms of the Grant Agreement. Some of these may include stipulations, such as to provide Mississippi Department of Marine Resources with a semi-annual and final report upon completion of the project, photographs (if applicable), the results of an independent audit, the presence of a prominent, permanent sign that clearly states the origin of the funds and the necessary permits for construction of projects.

The Tidelands Trust Fund Program is dedicated to the conservation, reclamation and preservation of Mississippi’s tidelands, while also proudly enhancing its current public access areas. Mississippi Department of Marine Resources takes great pride in administering the Tidelands Trust Fund to the best interest of Mississippi’s marine resources.

FY20 AWARDED PROJECTS

Project NameAgency
McLeod Park RV Campsite Expansion and Pier ConstructionHancock County
Montjoy Creek & Rotten Bayou Public Access AmenitiesCity of Diamondhead
Handicap Accessible Walkway and ramp to waterCity of Waveland
Rutherford Fishing Pier ExtensionCity of Bay St. Louis
GCRL Public Access EnhancementUSM
Highway 613 Sunset Pier and Sidewalk ExtensionCity of Moss Point
Fort Bayou Boat Launch Improvements Phase IVJackson County
Lighthouse Park Improvements ProjectCity of Pascagoula
Shepard State Park Upgrades ProjectCity of Gautier
Gautier’s Mary Walker Bayou Parks ProjectCity of Gautier
Front Beach Living Shoreline Phase IICity of Ocean Springs
East Beach AccessibilityCity of Ocean Springs
Lynn Meadows Discovery Center Building Restoration IILynn Meadows Discovery Center
West Biloxi Boardwalk/Boat LaunchHarrison County
Biloxi River Boat LaunchHarrison County
Tchoutacabouffa River Park, Phase IIICity of D’Iberville
East Harbor Repairs to the Water Distribution SystemCity of Pass Christian
West Harbor Electrical ImprovementsCity of Pass Christian
Long Beach Harbor ImprovementsCity of Pass Christian
Brickyard Bayou Educational Trail/Outdoor ClassroomCity of Gulfport
Gulfport Boat Launch ImprovementsCity of Gulfport
W. Biloxi Boardwalk and Boat Launch, Phase 2City of Biloxi
Golden Fisherman Phase 2Maritime Seafood Museum
Biloxi River Park and Restoration at Eagle PointCity of Biloxi
Biloxi Dredging and Sediment RemovalCity of Biloxi
IMMS Education and Outreach ProgramIMMS
Jourdan River Shores Canal Dredging ProjectHancock County Board of Supervisors
Gulf of Mexico Alliance Coastal Resilience CoordinatorMDMR
Project Name Agency
Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve Operations Match MDMR
Marine Patrol -Equipment & Salary Expenses MDMR
Sport Fish Restoration Coordination in Coastal Mississippi MDMR
Shellfish Compliance Program MDMR
Mississippi Hydrological Monitoring MDMR
Sport Fish Act- Artificial Reef Program MDMR
Lyman Facilities and Aquaculture Operation MDMR
MDMR Public Affairs Outreach Program MDMR
Marine Patrol -Equipment & Salary Expenses MDMR
Continuation of a Dermo and monitoring program USM
Living Shoreline cost-share program MSU
Monitoring Mississippi’s Marine Resources USM
Larval Tarpon: Naval Source, Transport Pathways and Estuarine Arrival USM
Studies of Southern Flounder Using Passive Acoustic Telemetry USM
Oyster reef restoration MDMR
Coastal Mississippi – Seafood Marketing Coastal Mississippi
Civil Air Patrol Civil Air Patrol
Town Commons City of Gautier City of Gautier
Day Pier Extension & South End Comfort Station City of Bay St. Louis
Harrison County Active Living Initiatives Gulf Coast Community Foundations
Aquaculture Expansion Ocean Springs High School
EEC Interpretive Nature Trail Phase 2 MGCCC
Seafood Marketing MDMR
Mitigation Compliance Program MDMR
MS Gulf Coast National Heritage Area MDMR
Estuary to Island: Art, Science, Industry WAMA
Marine Awareness Enhancement DBA The Nourishing Place Educational Support Organizations Inc.
Aerial Coastal Survey MSU
MS Mid – Breton Sediment Diversion (MBrSD) Assessment USM
YMCA -Waterproofing Coastal MS YMCA

CONTACT THE TIDELANDS OFFICE