TIDELANDS TRUST FUND PROGRAM

Accepting Tidelands applications starting May 31, 2023.

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.

AWARDED PROJECTS

Richards Bayou Dredging Project

City of Gulfport

Broadwater Marina Public Access and Marina Basin Restoration

Secretary of State

Kuhn St. Boat Ramp Parking Project Phase II

City of Biloxi

Dredging Parker’s Creek

City of Biloxi

Hiller Park Boat Launch

City of Biloxi

Removable Restroom Units for the West Side of the Gulfport Small Craft Harbor

City of Gulfport

D ‘Iberville Working Waterfront Harbor and Marina Public Access

City of D ‘Iberville

Long Beach Harbor Improvements

City of Long Beach

Secure Concrete Fillers at East Small Craft Harbor

City of Pass Christian

20th Avenue and Hwy 90 Beach Side Parking Improvements – Phase I

Harrison County Board of Supervisors

West Biloxi Boat Launch

Harrison County Board of Supervisors

Long Beach Park Volleyball Court Improvements

Harrison County Board of Supervisors

Washington Ave. at Front Beach Access

City of Ocean Springs

Shepard State Park Upgrades

City of Gautier

Mary Walker Bayou Parks

City of Gautier

Public Safety Improvements to River Parks Piers

City of Pascagoula

Rhodes Bayou Watershed Improvements Phase 1

City of Moss Point

Lake Mars Pier Expansion Project

Jackson County Board of Supervisors

Race-Track Road Boat Launch Phase II

Jackson County Board of Supervisors

Study to Analyze a Jetty System to Prevent Erosion of the Ocean Springs Front Beach

Jackson County Board of Supervisors

Noma Drive Public Access Projects

City of Diamondhead

Downtown Boardwalk Assistance

City of Bay St. Louis

Marina Planning and Design Assistance

City of Waveland

McLeod Park Bulkhead Improvements

Hancock County Board of Supervisors

Seafood Museum Repairs caused by Hurricane Ida

Maritime Seafood Museum

Grand Bay NERR Operations

MDMR

Shellfish Sanitation Compliance Program

MDMR

Sportfish Coordination

MDMR

Sportfish Artificial Reef

MDMR

Seafood Marketing

MDMR

Grand Bay NERR Maintenance

MDMR

Civil Air Patrol

MDMR

Derelict Vessels

MDMR

Human Resources Intern

MDMR

Hydrological Monitoring

MDMR

Lyman

MDMR

Gulf Coast National Heritage

MDMR

GOMA

MDMR

Public Outreach

MDMR

Marine Patrol Equipment

MDMR

CONTACT THE TIDELANDS OFFICE