Pascagoula River Watershed Preservation Highlights

1976 — The state of Mississippi acquires 35,000 acres from The Nature Conservancy along most of the Pascagoula River corridor to form the Pascagoula River Wildlife Management Area.

1989 – The Nature Conservancy opens its first office in Mississippi, establishing the Mississippi Chapter.

1990 Sweetbay Bogs Preserve, located in Stone County within the Pascagoula River Watershed, is dedicated as the Mississippi Chapter’s first preserve.

1999 — The Conservancy purchases 3,273 acres at the headwaters of the Pascagoula where the Leaf and Chickasawhay rivers converge. The land is dedicated and named the Charles Deaton Preserve.

2001 — The Conservancy establishes the Pascagoula Watershed Conservation Initiative, an action plan designed to protect the viability of the Pascagoula River basin for future generations.

2002 — The Conservancy acquires the Dearman Tract, 1,476 acres on the upper Pascagoula River.

2002 — The Herman Murrah Preserve is dedicated in memory of Herman Murrah. This 1,600-acre preserve includes 3.5 miles of river frontage that connects the Deaton Preserve to the Pascagoula River Wildlife Management Area.

2002 Cat’s Den Cave Preserve, 80 acres located in Smith County on the West Tallahalla Creek, a tributary of the Leaf River, is donated.

2003 — Singing River: Rhythms of Nature, an Emmy-award winning documentary about the Pascagoula River airs for the first time, bringing attention and bolstering support for protection of the river across the country.

2003 — The Conservancy opens the Upper Pascagoula Preserves stewardship office in Merrill to facilitate management of these preserves.

2003 — The Conservancy works with the Pascagoula River Basin Alliance to complete the Pascagoula River Ecotourism Study to aid communities as they consider developing ecotourism strategies.

2004 — Geomorphic Assessment of the Pascagoula River. Research done by Dr. Joann Mossa of the University of Florida, facilitated by the Conservancy.

2005 Red Creek Consolidated Mitigation Bank property, 3,031 acres, is acquired.

2005 — The McNeal Tract, 1,312 acres located in George County, is acquired. Named the Robbie Doak Fisher Preserve in 2009.

2005 — The Pascagoula Conservation Action Plan (CAP) is revised. Funded partially by the Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership as part of the Pilot Rivers Project. The Conservancy led workshops to update and refine the CAP to protect and restore the desirable ecological functions of the river.

2006 — Mike's Pond Preserve, 292 acres located in Jackson County, is donated. This preserve contains a breeding pond of the rare dusky gopher frog.

2006 — $200,000 is donated for restoration of gopher tortoise habitat in Mississippi.

2006 — The 108-acre Harvell and Pellerree Jackson Sandhills Preserve is donated.

2006 — The Conservancy partners with groups such as Audubon, Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain, National Park Service, Jackson, George and Green Counties, Pascagoula River Basin Alliance, Mississippi Wildlife Federation, and MS Canoe and Kayak Club to form the Pascagoula River Recreational Corridor.

2009 — Pascagoula River is named as one of America's most endangered rivers by American Rivers.

2010 — Priority Planning Efforts for Land Protection in the Pascagoula Basin. Geographic modeling of the basin using metrics like biodiversity, conservation targets, stresses to the stream and impediments.

2003-2014 — 603,492 hardwood seedlings and 271,900 longleaf seedlings are planted within the Pascagoula Basin.

For more information on the Pascagoula River, please contact Becky Stowe, Director of Forest Programs.

The Nature Conservancy
South Mississippi Conservation Program
10910 Highway 57, Suite C
Vancleave, MS  39565
(228) 591-1116