The Beach Outfall Challenge is imperative to the water quality and resources of the Mississippi Sound. Beach advisories are becoming common place throughout the year due to polluted storm water flows that cause increased sediment, nutrients, and bacterial levels. With more than 200 storm water drains along the 50+ miles of engineered beaches of the Mississippi Gulf Coast this challenge will offer small scale solutions for larger HUC-12 scale watershed issues. Because we live, work, research, and educate along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the MMMM team feels passionate about this long-standing issue and we will offer sustainable nature-based solutions that balance often competing issues associated with ecosystem services, water quality, and aesthetics. Our assembled team of local specialized experts has decades of scientific and engineering knowledge that will assist local and state governments in providing technologically advanced solutions for typical in-stream and on-beach outfall locations whilst also providing a larger discussion of the importance of addressing the outfalls collectively across the entire beach drainage watersheds. If implemented cumulatively across the beach outfall watersheds, we are confident our innovative solutions will result in practical water resource improvements in the Mississippi Sound and for the associated habitats such as oyster reefs, artificial reefs, and marshes that we all have spent our professional lives teaching about, studying, and conserving. MMMM strives for better Gulf seafood through better water quality and MMMM provides a new direction through science and engineering.
David Perkes, director of the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio, is a licensed architect and professor for MSU. This awarding winning planning, architecture and landscape architecture group has been assisting communities through creation of several watershed plans, and designing and implementing coastal ecosystem restoration projects.
Dr. Patrick Biber, associate professor of marine botany, and Dr. Kevin Dillon, associate professor biogeochemistry with the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Lab will provide local scientific expertise. Dr. Biber focuses on physiology, landscape stressors, and restoration of coastal salt marsh habitats. Dr. Dillon focuses on evaluation of the nitrogen dynamics in surface waters of MS Sound.
Dr. Eric Sparks, MSU Extension Leader focuses his research efforts on estuarine ecology, habitat restoration, and human impacts on the coast.
Dr. Mark LaSalle is Director of Pascagoula River Audubon Center, providing expertise on wetlands, water quality and environmental impacts of humans.
The Moffatt & Nichol team provides engineering expertise with Johnny Martin, PE and Jason Doll who have successfully researched, designed and implemented outfall solutions for North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Dr. Don Blancher, a systems ecologist, will provide expertise in water quality cycling having worked on the Gulf Coast for 35 years. Ms. Goecker provides experience in applied marine ecology with an emphasis in oyster and marsh restoration.
DISCLAIMER: The above information has been provided solely by the above-named Team for purposes of participation in the Beach Outfalls Challenge. The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality takes no responsibility for the information/content contained on this webpage. Further, MDEQ is not responsible and makes no representations as to the completeness, accuracy, legality, decency of material, or intellectual property compliance regarding the information/content provided above or any information/content provided on any other Team-generated webpages or websites.