In 1988, the Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine at MSU created the Coastal Research and Extension Center (CREC), which all of the Division's units in five south Mississippi counties were included under one administrative umbrella. The CREC, as then structured, included the Mississippi Sea Grant Advisory Service Program, county extension staffs in Harrison, Hancock, Jackson, George, and Stone Counties, an area horticulture specialist, area consumer money management specialist, area nutrition specialist, area vegetable marketing specialist, and the CAU and ESPL. In1990, after a restructure under the MCES, the number of counties included as part of the CREC was increased from 5 to 12.
The CREC is structured to provide education and outreach for Mississippi coastal residents regarding almost every aspect of the coastal environment - fisheries, seafood processing, aquaculture, wetland management, marine industry, recreation, economics and law. Emerging issues over the last several years have provided opportunities for extramural applied research funding which is used to support the education and outreach programs developed by specialist at the CREC. Therefore, there has been a marked shift from pure extension programming toward a more balanced blend of research and education in keeping with the overall philosophy which led to the development of research and extension centers throughout Mississippi. This new approach has served our clientele well, although in practice it is often difficult to distinguish between "pure research" and "pure extension" in the overall programs the specialists have developed and have responsibility