Mississippi Department of Marine Resources: Coastal Mississippi Sustainable Development and Resilience Project

AllenES developed the Sustainable Development and Smart Growth Initiative for the Six Coastal Counties of Mississippi. The Sustainable Development and Smart Growth Initiative for the Six Coastal Counties of Mississippi involved the development of four separate and distinct projects:

  1. The development of a comprehensive resources management plan;
  2. The development of a Sustainable Growth and Watershed Management Model;
  3. The development of a Six Coastal County Strategic and Smart Growth Toolbox; and
  4. The development of a conceptual plan for an exemplary coastal sustainable development.

The primary goal of this project was to create a comprehensive program designed to incorporate the principles of sustainability, smart growth and coastal resilience into the day to day public and private development activities that occur within the Mississippi Gulf Coast Region. The Toolbox focused on Smart Growth, Sustainable Development & Coastal Resilience and was organized according to five concepts based on Smart Growth Principles: Community Character; Growing Green; Transportation Choices; Policy in Practice; and Coastal Resiliency & Natural Hazards.

The project was uniquely reflective of the precious coastal resources and colorful characteristics of coastal Mississippi and encourages a sense of community by offering innovative best management practices. Thus providing a natural sense of place, increase community pride, and improve marketability.

The Smart Growth Project consisted of a modeling phase. The “Sustainable Growth and Watershed Management Model” for the Mississippi Gulf Coast is viewed as a decision-making tool designed to increase the level of awareness associated with watershed management and to assist elected officials and other community leaders in making informed decisions with respect to development activities. The model was developed using GIS technology to visually predict potential impacts associated with future developments and will take into account the interconnectedness of the coastal ecosystems and the many facets of a watershed system as a whole. The model is GIS based to utilize existing spatial data and to visualize data for informed decisions. The goals of the project were to encourage better selection of potential growth areas, to encourage better site design principles, to utilize existing resources, and to better manage and protect natural and cultural resources.