State buying 217 acres of Cat Island in Mississippi Sound

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann and members of the Coast legislative delegation announced Thursday the state has made a deal to buy 217 acres of Cat Island to be set aside for public use.

The land will cost $8 million, $528,000 of which will come from state Tidelands money, which come from casino leases. The Tidelands money was leveraged with about $5 million in federal oil spill settlement money and $1.2 million from the federal Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program. The Legislature also authorized the state to use nearly $1.3 million that had been set aside to buy Deer Island. The purchase price comes to about $36,000 an acre.

Hosemann, who met with the Sun Herald while he was on the Coast to sign the agreement, was excited about the deal. He said he believes the state will find a way to provide public transportation out to the island so people can enjoy the natural resources there.

Sun Herald