ackson, Miss.—Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, along with several members of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Legislative Delegation, announced the purchase by the citizens of the State of Mississippi of a significant portion of Cat Island, one of the barrier islands located off the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

“The acquisition of such a pristine ecological portion of land is a significant step in the preservation of Cat Island for public use,” says Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann. “This purchase brings us one step closer to protecting Cat Island for future generations to enjoy.”

Through several different funding mechanisms, the State of Mississippi was able to acquire approximately 217 acres of Cat Island from a private landowner at minimal cost to the State.

“We had the opportunity to purchase this portion of Cat Island primarily through settlement funds and federal grants,” says Secretary Hosemann. “Just as the State secured funding for Deer Island in the past, this purchase is yet another investment in conserving the natural resources of Mississippi’s Barrier Islands.”

The total purchase price for Cat Island is $8-Million, with only $528,000 coming from Tidelands funds. Tidelands funds are generated from casino leases and assessments and allocated by the Mississippi Gulf Coast Legislative Delegation for projects on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Funding for the purchase is as follows:

MOEX Offshore 2007 (Federal oil spill settlement funds): $4,987,326

CELCP (Federal Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program): $1,206,575

Reallocation of Deer Island Bond Funds: $1,277,943

Tidelands Fund Appropriation $528,155

Cat Island is the westernmost island of the five Barrier Islands which form the southern boundary of the State of Mississippi. The island lies roughly eight to ten miles south of the mainland coast of Mississippi and is the only Mississippi barrier island with significant acreage remaining in private ownership.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann