Coastal Conservation and Restoration Sub Programs


Living Shorelines Program

Living shorelines is a term used to describe environmentally friendly shoreline stabilization techniques. Living shorelines are alternatives to hardened shoreline techniques, such as bulkheads and seawalls, which stabilize shorelines, while also providing the benefits of a natural shoreline. Comparatively, hardened shorelines are detrimental to the environment. These structures often lead to more erosion and reduce the amount of intertidal habitat. Intertidal habitats improve water quality, act as storm buffers, and provide habitat for fish, crustaceans, and birds. Additionally, for most shorelines, a living shoreline approach is cheaper and more resilient. Even with all these known benefits, living shorelines have not been adopted as the first choice for shoreline protection. Some of the reasons for the lack of living shoreline projects are due to property owners and contractors not being aware of these techniques. Other reasons for lack of adoption include misconceptions about the level of shoreline protection these projects provide, perceived costs, and unfamiliarity with the permitting process. For this program, we work directly with property owners, contractors, nurseries, and regulatory agencies to help increase the knowledge base and streamline the processes associated with implementing living shoreline projects. Our activities include conducting property owner, contractor, and government agency workshops/trainings, producing guidebooks and extension publications, research to improve the site design process, and site evaluations.


Mississippi Coastal Cleanup Program

Litter is an issue that impairs the environment, stormwater infrastructure, tourism, and industry along coastlines. The Coastal Cleanup Program was formed with the mission of preventing and removing litter from the coastal environment through education, outreach, research, and cleanup events. Please visit the Mississippi Coastal Cleanup website ( for more information about this program.


Mississippi Master Naturalist Program

Lack of environmental knowledge often promotes poor stewardship of natural resources. Additionally, many environmentally conscious individuals are eager to help out through volunteer service, but these opportunities are often difficult to find. The Mississippi Master Naturalist Program was formed with the mission of developing an organization of knowledgeable volunteers to help promote conservation and management of Mississippi’s natural resources through education, outreach, and service within their communities. Please visit the Mississippi Master Naturalist website ( for more information about this program.


Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Extension Program

The mission of the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium (MASGC) is to enhance the sustainable use and conservation of ocean and coastal resources to benefit the economy and environment in Alabama and Mississippi. To fulfill this mission, MASGC commits to interdisciplinary environmental scholarship and community-based natural-resource management. The tools available in support of the MASGC mission are applied interdisciplinary research, outreach, education and legal services using both targeted and cross-cutting approaches. These tools are utilized at local, state, regional, national and international arenas. Please visit the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant website ( for more information about this program.


Northern Gulf of Mexico Sentinel Site Cooperative

The Northern Gulf of Mexico Sentinel Site Cooperative (Cooperative) is one of five Sentinel Site Cooperatives within the broader NOAA Sentinel Site Program (SSP). The Cooperative is a partnership focused on sea-level rise (SLR) and inundation in the northern Gulf of Mexico. A broad array of partners working along the science to stewardship continuum make up the Cooperative, working to fill identified gaps and needs in SLR science and management in coastal Mississippi, Alabama, and northwest Florida. Cooperative partners includes local, state, regional, and national government agencies and departments, individual researchers, other partnerships, and non-governmental organizations. Learn more about the Cooperative’s projects, products, and team at