Mississippi’s area of the Gulf Islands National Seashore is located offshore of Ocean Springs. The recreational favorite offers fishing, picnicking, camping, hiking, biking and ranger-led tours throughout the year. For Summer 2017, activities include ranger programs like “All about Amazing Alligators,” “Osprey,” “Bayou Nature Walk,” and “Bayou by Boat” and more. To access the seashore by vehicle, visitors can go the Davis Bayou Area
In sum, the other barrier islands include Cat Island, West Ship Island, East Ship Island, Horn Island, West Petit Bois and Petit Bois Island which are accessible by private boat year-round.
According to a study by the National Park Service, the Gulf Islands National Seashore is a major economic benefit to the region. In 2009, Mississippi and Louisiana partnered to research the wildlife and create jobs in the state. The National Seashore offers opportunities for Mississippi. In 2016, the study found that 4.6 million visited providing an estimated $251.8 million to the economy. Tourism is an asset in Mississippi so developments like the aquarium would promote jobs and tourism dollars to the state.
If plans stay on schedule, part of the Mississippi Aquarium will open early 2019. Leaders hope to change the landscape of Mississippi’s tourism by this addition to the Coast. According to the Sun Herald Newspaper, it will cost $93 million and would need to average 487,000 visitors a year. This was determined by a marketing study by Pro Forma Advisors LLC based in Los Angeles. Sights like the parks and aquariums attract a variety of visitors.
The Gulf Islands National Seashore’s barrier islands are home to a variety of plants, animals. There are ten National Seashores in the United States and the citizen’s tax dollars pay for its’ existence. Whether visitors come to research, relaxation or touring, it features coast forest, bayous, fishing piers for boats and fishing to enjoy. For additional information, call (228) 875-9057, ext. 4100.