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Designated in 1999
as the 24th reserve
with 18,049 acres

The Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (GNDNERR) is a program in partnership with NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management (OCM) as part of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS). 

The NERRS are authorized under Section 315 of the CZMA, which recognizes the significance of coastal resources and established the Coastal Zone Management Program and the NERRS to manage these resources for long-term conservation in partnership with the states. The GNDNERR was designated in 1999 as the 24th reserve in the NERRS. In 1973 the Mississippi Legislature also recognized the importance of Mississippi’s coastal resources and passed the Coastal Wetlands Protection Act. Subsequently, the Mississippi Coastal Program (MCP) was established in 1980.


Operated by the
Mississippi Department
of Marine Resources

The GNDNERR is located on the Mississippi-Alabama state line in Jackson County, MS, about 30 miles east of Biloxi, MS and 30 miles southwest of Mobile, AL. 

It is part of the Grand Bay Savanna Complex, which is the largest area of intact coastal habitats in the state of Mississippi. The GNDNERR is co-located with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Grand Bay National Wildlife Refuge (GNDNWR) and the Grand Bay Coastal Preserve. This large area is under conservation to protect the function of the Grand Bay estuary across both states. The main functions of the GNDNERR include habitat and nursery areas for fish and shellfish, areas for recreational and commercial fishing and hunting, protection of water quality, and flood protection. 




Meet the Director

Dr. Ayesha Gray is the Director of the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.