Photo from the Mississippi Secretary of State's Facebook.

As of today, the SOS Office has transferred $187,489,980 to the MS Gulf Coast through the Tidelands Trust Funds program.

On Wednesday, Secretary of State Michael Watson presented the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR) with a Tidelands Funds check for $10,314,561 on behalf of Gulf Coast legislative delegation.

The check represents Tidelands Trust Funds amounts collected during Fiscal Year 2022 for use during Fiscal Year 2023.

Watson said as the first Secretary of State from the Coast, he has a unique perspective of Mississippi’s 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. 

“All of Mississippi benefits when the Coast works together to manage some of the state’s most treasured property,” the Secretary of State continued.

MDMR Executive Director Joe Spraggins said the Tidelands Trust Funds represent a large annual investment from the State in coastal marsh preservation, marine education and environmental conservation of Mississippi’s marine resources.

“Our agency appreciates Secretary Watson and our legislators for allowing us to manage these funds that help our communities access the beautiful waterways along our Mississippi Gulf Coast,” Scraggins said.

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.

As of today, the Secretary of State’s Office has transferred a total of $187,489,980 to the Mississippi Gulf Coast through the Tidelands Trust Funds program.

“Mississippi Department of Marine Resources takes great pride in administering the Tidelands Trust Fund to the best interest of Mississippi’s marine resources,” the MDMR website states.