Mississippi Coastal Improvements Program (MsCIP)
In 2009, the State of Mississippi was awarded $489 million in federal
funding to restore their barrier islands to pre-Katrina levels.
Some sources put this figure at more than a billion dollars, perhaps due
to some matching funds.
Dauphin Island received no
funding at all.
We think this is not only patently unfair but short-sighted. Like
our sister islands in Missisippi, Dauphin Island was also severely
damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Dauphin Island is part of a complete
island chain, an "archipelago" of related barrier islands. Without
maintaining Dauphin Island, the monies spent to restore the Mississippi
barrier islands may be ill-spent, since Dauphin Island also funnels sand
into the littoral sand system that migrates to Mississippi.
The Mississippi barrier islands protect the coastal communities of Biloxi, Gulfport and Pascagoula.
Dauphin Island protects Coden and Bayou La Batre, as well providing
easterly protection for the Mississippi barrier islands! They are
all part of the same barrier island chain! So why no funding for
All these barrier islands should be considered and funded as a unit rather than split
by an arbitrarily-placed state line which creates a nonsensical division
in the North-Central Gulf
Alabama Sand for Mississippi???
Alabama Sand Proposed for Placement on Petit Bois Island
The Comprehensive Barrier Island Restoration Plan proposes that
4,000,000 cubic yards of sand be placed in the littoral zone on the east
end of Petit Bois Island. One of the locations being considered from
where to "harvest" this sand is the extreme West End of Dauphin Island
- the area west of the Katrina Cut. This area is already
fragile and vulnerable. Removing sand from the extreme West End of
Dauphin Island will only further weaken that area. If any sand at
all was to be taken from that area, it is only logical that it should be
used to address the sand deficit issues on our own island, not to
restore the Mississippi islands at the expense of our own!
It is ironic that the Comprehensive Barrier Island Restoration Plan is
proposing to use sand obtained from sources within Alabama for placement
on Petit Bois Island to protect Mississippi’s estuarine resources and
This approach ignores the similar and equally damaging
Hurricane Katrina-created shoreline erosion problems affecting Dauphin
Island that now threaten the estuarine resources of the Alabama portion
of the Mississippi Sound and have exposed Alabama’s mainland coastline
to increased risk from future storm events.
There is an inherent
disconnect in the study’s logic that ignores the shoreline erosion
problems of Dauphin Island as the lead island in the barrier island
chain which happens to be located within Alabama, while proposing to
take sand from locations within Alabama to use in restoring the barrier
islands in Mississippi.