2006 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Gollott, Hewes, Dawkins, Cuevas, Robertson, Moffatt, Lee (47th)

Senate Concurrent Resolution 593


     WHEREAS, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Seafood Processing Industry and the jobs that it supported was dealt a crushing blow on August 29th by Hurricane Katrina, crippling this industry that prior to the hurricane supported over 6,500 jobs and 47 seafood processing plants; and

     WHEREAS, other commercial land developments on the Mississippi Gulf Coast have driven the price of waterfront land so high that in many cases it is not feasible to continue to use the land for the seafood industry; and

     WHEREAS, it is necessary that some aspects of commercial seafood operations remain on the waterfront to support water dependent boat related activities such as docking, supplying fuel and ice and maintenance and repairs; and

     WHEREAS, the seafood industry is extremely valuable with an economic impact to Mississippi that exceeds $900 Million per year; and

     WHEREAS, an inland seafood park would help to keep the seafood industry operational after future hurricanes by being built on higher land which is removed from the area that is susceptible to the highest winds and tidal storm surges; and

     WHEREAS, wastewater from seafood processing plants at an inland seafood park could be sent to a treatment facility, reducing the current discharge rate into Mississippi's estuaries, resulting in improved water quality in the bays, rivers and the Mississippi Sound; and

     WHEREAS, affordable land at an inland seafood park could provide additional processing capacity that may not be feasible at expensive waterfront locations and which could enhance Mississippi's processing capacity, stimulate economic development and create new jobs; and

     WHEREAS, Mississippi seafood is important to our culture and the Mississippi Gulf Coast has a rich seafood heritage dating back to the turn of the century and Biloxi was once known as the Seafood Capital of the World; and

     WHEREAS, the Governor's Commission Report on Recovery, Rebuilding and Renewal recommends creation of both the inland seafood industrial park, and the working waterfront concept:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That the Mississippi Legislature supports the development of a seafood industrial park which will create numerous opportunities to increase business efficiency by economies of scale through a "private-public cooperative" where water, wastewater processing, cold storage, value-added operations and other shared services could accommodate a full range of activities and facilities needed to rebuild this sector of the local economy.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Mississippi Legislature supports passage of the Working Waterfront Preservation Act being considered by the United States Congress (S. 1723) which allows for a project to acquire real property or an interest in real property located in a coastal state for the purpose of providing access to persons engaged in the commercial fishing industry or the aquaculture industry to coastal waters in working waterfront areas.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Mississippi Legislature supports the acquisition of land by a cooperative of private and public entities to develop inland seafood industrial parks and working waterfronts that sets aside land for the water dependent needs of the seafood industry.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be forwarded to the following:  President George W. Bush; Senator Thad Cochran; Senator Trent Lott; Representative Gene Taylor; Representative Chip Pickering; Representative Bennie Thompson; Representative Roger Wicker; Governor Haley Barbour; Mississippi Commission on Marine Resources:  Chairman Dr. Vernon Asper and Vice Chair Mikel Gusa; Commissioners Richard Gollott, Shelby Drummond and Oliver Sahuque; Mississippi Department of Marine Resources:  Executive Director Dr. William Walker, Fisheries Director William Corky Perret; and Fisheries Staff Officer Dale A. Diaz; and be made available to members of the Capitol Press Corps.