Scenic USA - Mississippi

Scenic USA offers a collection of select photographs from a wide variety of attractions, points of interest, historic sites, state parks and
national parks found throughout the United States. Each photo feature is coupled with a brief explanation.
For further detailed information, links to other related sites are provided.


Bernard Bayou

Bernard Bayou - Mississippi

Photo by Ben Prepelka

     Louisiana’s intricate coastline, riddled with bays and bayous, is bracing for what could be one of the largest oil spills to date. Even though neighboring Mississippi’s coastal region is somewhat abbreviated, its slow moving backwaters and estuaries also lie in harm's way. This could be another one of those wake up calls that attracts nothing but lip service.
     This Ocean Springs scene catches the last rays of a southern sun over Bernard Bayou. Here a tangle of tributaries connects to Big Lake and the Back Bay of Biloxi. These brackish backwaters have drawn increased attention from environmentalists and the Nature Conservancy. Marshes and bayou banks, smothered in eel grass, salt grass and hummock needle rush, create the perfect hatchery for small fish and crustaceans. Recognizing the value of coastal tidal creeks and wetlands, the Mississippi Chapter of The Nature Conservancy added 1700 acres as the Old Fort Bayou Preserve in 1996, the first coastal wetland mitigation bank.
     Ocean Springs' official history dates back to 1699, when the first French explorers arrived. Claiming the entire Mississippi watershed area, the new land was dubbed Louisiana after King Louis XIV. By 1720, French colonies were established throughout the Biloxi Bay area, relying on its estuaries and easy access to the sea. Named after a local tribe of Bylocchy Natives, the new Biloxi residents subsisted on seafood, farming, making charcoal, and selling naval stores.



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