The funds to be used on nearly 30 public access projects.
On Tuesday, Secretary of State Michael Watson presented the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR) with a check for $11,226,497 on behalf of the Gulf Coast legislative delegation. The check represents the Tidelands Trust Funds amounts collected during FY 2021 for use during FY 2022.
The Tidelands Trust Fund Program first started 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.
The program is funded from the lease of tidelands and submerged lands and administered by the Secretary of State’s Office and Mississippi Department of Marine Resources. The $11.2 million is the second-highest tidelands transfer since 1997.
“As the first Secretary of State who grew up on the Coast, I have a unique perspective of our Tidelands and the significance of returning these funds to help preserve such a beautiful and important resource, improve public access and spur economic development when possible,” said Secretary Watson. “All of Mississippi benefits when the Coast works together to manage some of the state’s most treasured property.”
The $11.2 million will fund nearly 30 public access projects such as:
- Shepard State Park Upgrades
- Eagle Point Park Development
- DMR Marine Patrol
- MS Coastal Map
- Seafood Museum Hurricane Zeta Schooner Pier Repair
Secretary Watson posted on social media saying that “this money is for the benefit of the entire state. It helps preserve and give all Mississippians access to our beautiful Gulf Coast!”
So enjoy returning this money to the Coast. Importantly, this money is for the benefit of the entire state. It helps preserve and give all Mississippians access to our beautiful Gulf Coast! https://t.co/RnPbZK0vRq
— Secretary Michael Watson (@MichaelWatsonMS) September 21, 2021