Biloxi, Miss.—A project to bring public access to Deer Island has received final approval by the U.S. Corps of Engineers. Construction on the 170-foot pier located on the north side of Deer Island will begin this summer.
“All Mississippians should have access to our public islands, regardless if they have a boat,” says Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann. “With Deer Island located less than a mile from the Gulf Coast, this was the ideal opportunity to promote eco-tourism on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Our goal is to have visitors stay ‘one more day.’ Hopefully, this new access pier to Deer Island will give tourists incentive to do just that.”
As part of the access project, charter services will shuttle individuals to and from Deer Island for individuals who do not have their boat. Restroom facilities and food vendors will also be established by mobile barge, allowing for the amenities to be moved in the event of a storm.
“We hope to establish low-impact tourism to the island, consistent with maintaining the pristine nature of the environment,” adds Secretary Hosemann.
“Deer Island is one of the State’s resources that make the Coast unique,” says Jaime Miller, Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources. “We want residents and tourists to have access to this island, so they can enjoy the walking trails and wildlife opportunities it offers. This pier will make the island and its many resources accessible to everyone.”
The island and surrounding waters will be patrolled by the Department of Marine Resources.
The total cost of the pier is approximately $360,000, which will be paid by Tidelands Funds. Tidelands funds are generated by coast tidelands leases and assessments and are allocated by the Coast Delegation of the Mississippi Legislature.