A new pier on Mississippi’s Deer Island is complete. MPB’s Evelina Burnett reports, the state recently held a workshop for charter boats and others interested in taking visitors to the small island near Biloxi.
Capt. Kathy Wilkinson sits on a pier near the water in Gautier. It's where the business she and her husband have owned for 10 years, Eco-Tours of South Mississippi, sets off for trips on the Pascagoula River. She says they also have a lot of folks interested in visiting Deer Island.
"We frequently have people who are avid birders who want the experience of going to Deer Island and viewing the birds that are out there," she says. "A lot of shore birds, but also a lot of other birds - I understand there's a bald eagle nest out there, and several osprey nests."
Wilkinson was one of about 25 people who attended a workshop hosted by the Secretary of State and the Department of Marine Resources. They're providing interested boating and kayaking companies with information about Deer Island.
Much of the tiny island is a coastal preserve, so part of the information was about protecting the pristine environment. Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann says there will also be a DMR intern on the island this summer to provide information and tours.
"I think most Mississippians, and hopefully our visitors too, know that you want to leave it just like you found it when you go there," he says. "And you'll see some signs out there encouraging them, whatever you brought on there, bring it off."
Those who attended the workshop will receive a certificate of completion. A list of companies that have the certificate will be on the secretary of state’s website.