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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 Dauphin Island?

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 Coast archipelago.

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 coastline.

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.

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