The Pascagoula is often called the "Singing River." According to legend, the peace-loving Pascagoula Indian tribe sang as they walked hand-in-hand into the river to avoid fighting with the invading Biloxi tribe. It is said that on quiet nights you can still hear them singing their death chant.
The Pascagoula Watershed also rings with the calls of 327 species of birds that breed among the sprawling cypress-tupelo swamps, oxbow lakes and pine ridges. Wading birds croon as they forage throughout the bayous, and graceful swallow-tailed kites hunt for prey in the extensive bottomland forest. Even the distinctive clattering bugle of the rare Mississippi sandhill crane can be heard within the pine savanna.
In 1974, The Nature Conservancy and other dedicated conservationists rallied to bring 35,000 acres of the watershed under public protection. This "grassroots epic," as E.O. Wilson called it, led to a river corridor presently buffered by almost 70,000 acres of public and private conservation lands.
The Conservancy has remained committed to this river treasure, helping establish the Pascagoula River Basin Alliance in 2001. This broad-based coalition promotes the ecological, economic and cultural health of the watershed, focusing on research, communication and actions needed to ensure the preservation of the Pascagoula River system.
A 2003 documentary, The Singing River: Rhythms of Nature, was co-produced by the Conservancy and Mississippi Public Broadcasting. Narrated by Mississippi native Gerald McRaney, the documentary increased awareness of the need for continued protection of the river. The documentary won two southeast regional Emmy awards for best documentary and best photography.
For more information on the Pascagoula River Watershed, please contact Becky Stowe, Terrestrial Program Manager.
The Nature Conservancy
South Mississippi Conservation Program
10910 Highway 57, Suite C
Vancleave, MS 39565