MOSS POINT -- Jackson County has a grant and plans to rebuild the McInnis Bayou boat launch off of south Griffin Street in Moss Point.
The bulkhead is caving in, the boards on the piers are worn and the pilings need to be replaced, said Jackson County Supervisor Melton Harris. The launch is on a bayou that connects directly to the east branch of the Pascagoula River and has been popular through the years, especially before Hurricane Katrina, when Choctaw Marina existed and served meals.
The grant is $100,000, from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, through the state Department of Marine Resources. But it won't cover all of the cost of refurbishing the launch. Harris said it needs to have the bulkhead removed and replaced, some pilings replaced and the launch paved.
Bids came in last week between $125,000 and $200,000. And Harris said the county has discussed picking up the cost that is over the grant amount.
James Henson, lives just up the road from the launch on the corner of Hemlock and Griffin streets. He said Monday that he could put a boat in at the McInnis Bayou launch and easily make it to U.S. 90 or even Interstate 10 in a short period of time via the Pascagoula River.
The privately owned land where Choctaw Marina once stood is fenced off, but the boat launch is public.
Henson, who likes to fish, pointed to the battered bait shop, all that's left of what had been a thriving business, and said. "I don't know why somebody didn't pick up the bait shop. It was popular too."
Harris said the work on the boat launch is long overdue.
"It's hard to say how old it is," Harris said. "By looking at the pilings, I'd say it's been at least 40 years since the piers and pilings have been replaced."
But, he said, it also has been battered by storms.
Harris expects the start date on the project to be late March or early April.