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Bennet Bayou Coastal Marsh Restoration

Bennett Bayou’s is a gateway to the Pascagoula River marshes. The Pascagoula River is the largest unimpeded river system in the continental U.S. It supports habitats for about 22 threatened and endangered species, and serves as a critical refueling and rest stop for birds during intercontinental migrations. Beneficiaries of restoration include red drum, brown and white shrimp, Gulf sturgeon, speckled trout and Atlantic croaker.

Partner(s): US Fish & Wildlife Service Mississippi Department of Marine Resources National Fish & Wildlife Foundation Southeastern Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies

Bennett Bayou Tidal Marsh -Moss Point,

Description of Site:

  • This is the site of a former marina, with impervious parking lot and several buildings.
  • Site links adjacent 60 acres held by the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources to the future site of the Audubon Interpretive Center.


  • About 1.5 acres of wetlands had been weakened by the infill from the marina’s construction and subsequent marina activities.
  • Over time, tidal marsh, bayhead tree canopy, and wetland habitats were degraded or destroyed.

    Degraded Bennett Bayou site before
    Additional damage was inflicted by Hurricane Katrina.



  • After baseline assessment, a management and restoration plan was agreed upon.
  • Following installation of turbidity barriers and silt fencing, contractors removed building structures and parking lots, treated for invasive species, and prepared site for planting native species.
  • Volunteers from Visions Team, Moss Point GED, AmeriCorps, Pascagoula River Basin Alliance, Mississippi Power Co, and Junior Naturalists helped with debris removal and marsh planting.
  • Educational events were conducted during restoration
    and are built into an ongoing Audubon Society education program.
    Volunteers plant marsh grass during

Contact Info

  • Judy Steckler
  • Bennett Bayou MS

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Associated Locations

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Name of barrier Latitude Longitude FONS ID FIS Project ID FWS Acc. #

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