Mississippi GEMS

Grand Bayou Preserve

  1. Grand BayouSite Information Point(s) of Contact: Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, Coastal Preserves Program
  2. Geographic Information:
    1. Narrative Description of the Site: The primary boundary of this 565-acre preserve follows the edge of the open brackish marsh. This mesohaline marsh/bayou system contains a mosaic of elevation zones and represents a largely "marine" area with only local freshwater runoff, except for possible runoff from the Jackson marsh area to the north. This system is unique in that the narrow bayou (5-10 m wide) is flanked by a small (1-2 m) levee that is covered with groundsel bush (Baccharis angustifolia) with a narrow band of smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) near the water’s edge. Smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) also occurs mixed with saltgrass (Distichlis spicata) to form the low marsh zone. Patches of needle rush (Juncus roemerianus) form the mid-level zone along with saltgrass (Distichlis)/ bulrush (Scirpus robustus) areas. Pure saltgrass (Distichlis) patches form the high marsh. The major portion of the property is owned and managed by a state park.
    2. Date When Information Last Updated: March, 1998
    3. Location: Hancock County, Waveland
    4. Area of Influence: Coastal plain
  3. Ecological/Cultural Characteristics
    1. Habitat type: This is a small area of estuarine marsh in which the following estuarine communities are expected or known to occur; estuarine subtidal, 1) muddy sand embayment; and estuarine intertidal, 1) mesohaline marsh 2) oligohaline marsh.
    2. Rare/Endangered Species:
      1. Bufo valliceps Gulf Coast Toad
      2. Rana heckscheri River Frog
      3. Tyrannus forficatus Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
      4. Lilaeopsis carolinensis Carolina Lilaeopsis
  4. Current and Potential Educational
    1. Recreational Use: Boaters and anglers use the area on occasional and seasonal basis for waterfowl hunting (sparingly) and fishing.
  5. Management Status
    1. Land Ownership: Lands within this Coastal Preserve are either privately, locally, state or federally owned. Much of the property is considered tidal wetlands and is already owned by the state.
    2. Existing Designations: Although this area is designated as a Mississippi Coastal Preserve, the major portion of the property is a state park.
    3. Management Status: Managed by the Department of Marine Resources Coastal Preserves Program.
    4. Existing Monitoring Activities: Monitored by the Department of Marine Resources Coastal Preserves Program.
    5. Acquisition Potential: Active.
    6. Management Needs: The State will manage the area as a coastal preserve. The DMR will have direct responsibility. Much of the property is considered tidal wetlands and owned by the State.
  6. Site Viability
    1. Threats to Ecological Integrity: Residences with open septic systems.
  7. Comments and/or Additional Information on Grand Bayou: email the Coastal Preserves Manager.

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