2009 marked the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Conservancy’s Mississippi Chapter. In this relatively short period of time, the chapter took tangible, measurable conservation action to protect and restore some of Mississippi’s most important landscapes and waterscapes.
The Conservancy’s flagship project in Mississippi was the creation of the Pascagoula River Wildlife Management Area. In an extremely complicated transaction, the Conservancy, in cooperation with Mississippi Wildlife Heritage Commission, acquired an initial tract in 1976, and two additional tracts were subsequently added. The area is now managed by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.
Thanks to the cooperative efforts among the Conservancy, the state of Mississippi and other important partners, the Pascagoula River is still the largest unimpeded river system in the lower 48 states because there are no dams or channelization on the river or any of its tributaries. The river’s watershed supports more than three dozen oxbow lakes and thousands of acres of cypress-tupelo swamps and bottomland hardwood forests. The initial 35,000-acre Pascagoula Wildlife Management Area set a new standard and remains a model for achieving conservation success through public and private partnerships. The original Pascagoula acquisition stands today as the largest purchase for conservation made by our state, and it continues to serve as an inspiration to conservation focused groups, including many of our partners and supporters.
For more information on the Pascagoula River, please contact Becky Stowe, Director of Stewardship.
The Nature Conservancy
South Mississippi Conservation Program
10910 Highway 57, Suite C
Vancleave, MS 39565