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Mississippi Sound extends from Lake Borgne, Louisiana to Mobile Bay, Alabama, spanning the entire Gulf coast of the state of Mississippi. The Sound is separated from the Gulf of Mexico by a series of narrow islands and sand bars including Cat, Ship, Horn, Petit Bois and Dauphin islands. Water exchange with the Gulf takes place through numerous passes. Numerous coastal bays are contained within the system including St. Louis Bay, Biloxi Bay, Pascagoula Bay and Grand Bay. The Escatawpa, Pascagoula, Tchoutacabouffa, Biloxi, Wolf and Jourdan Rivers (east to west) provide freshwater to the estuary.
The Mississippi Department of Natural Resources maintains over 20 marine reserves in the area, and the protected areas of these islands form a portion of the Gulf Islands National Seashore (see link below).
Coordinates: 30.39° N 89.07° W
Selected Characteristics: (USEPA, 1999)
Surface Area: 4,792 km2
Drainage Area: 69,700 km2
Average Daily FW Inflow: 1,235 m3/s
Average Depth: 4.0 m
Average Salinity: 24 ppt
Coastal Wetlands: 4,326 km2
Submerged Aquatic Vegetation: 121 km2
USFW, 1982. Gulf Coast Ecological Inventory Map; Mobile- Ala., Miss., LA. area. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
USEPA. 1999. Ecological condition of estuaries in the Gulf of Mexico. EPA 620-R-98-004. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Gulf Ecology Division, Gulf Breeze, Florida. 80 pp.
The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources
National Estuarine Research Reserve System - Grand Bay Reserve
Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium
National Park Service - Gulf Islands National Seashore
Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks - Buccaneer State Park
Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Keywords: Bays, Estuaries, Islands, Marine, Reserve, Mississippi Sound
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