MS - Is More Concrete the Answer to Erosion on Ocean Springs Front Beach?

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - Is more concrete the answer to Ocean Springs’ eroding beach?

Jackson County Supervisors say yes, but area residents are not sold on the idea.

“We have these beautiful white beaches and they’re covering it with concrete, and I’m completely against that,” said Front Beach resident Norma Herrington.

She has lived on Front Beach in Ocean Springs for 15 years, and she said she has yet to see a project that included more concrete help the erosion problem.

“They should put in more seagrass and sand dunes if they want to prevent erosion,” she said.

Jackson County’s latest effort to control erosion has been installing a drainage system parallel to the beach. The first section went in last year, and supervisors are expected to put the next section up for bid on Tuesday. The concept is to collect stormwater in open ditches called swales and feed it to the Mississippi Sound in underground pipes. That will eliminate erosion they say is caused by water running off of the sidewalk.

“And now they want to put in these concrete swales to carry water, which is not just going to carry water. It’s going to carry debris, it’s going to carry sand, it’s going to carry the oil that they don’t want in the water out into the water,” Herrington said.

Herrington said she understands the problem of what to do with stormwater runoff.

“You have to let it go somewhere, and it’s going to have to go back out into the ocean,” she said.

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