Our part of the Gulf Coast is home to a several areas that preserve the environment for future generations.
The Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is one of my personal favorites. It a large tract of land over 18,000 acres in size located just across the state line in Jackson County, Mississippi.
David Ruple is the reserve manager and says the area contains a thriving ecosystem.
The pine savannah habitat contains unique species like the pitcher plants. It’s a carnivorous plant that eats bugs! Flies are attracted to the cavity formed by the cupped leaf and are absorbed.
A large variety of birds are native to the reserve. You’ll find bird watching trails leading off the main road.
The small bays surrounding the area are home to shrimp, crabs, and inshore saltwater fish.
Storms have often flooded the property. Most areas within the boundaries are lower than ten feet in elevation.
After Hurricane Katrina, a new facility serves as the headquarters for the Reserve. The building contains a working laboratory and dorm rooms for students.
It’s also home to an interpretive center, that is open to the pubic 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
For more information check out their website.