You are here

News Filed Under Environment

September 18, 2017 - Filed Under: Community, Environment

BILOXI, Miss. -- Volunteers can help tidy Mississippi’s beaches and other coastal areas during the 2017 Mississippi Coastal Cleanup on Oct. 21.

The 29th annual event begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 11 a.m. at more than 40 sites in Jackson, Harrison and Hancock counties. Participants will help remove plastic bottles, food wrappers, cigarette butts and other trash.

Organized by the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Marine Debris Task Force, this event has helped remove millions of pounds of trash from the state’s beaches, waterways and barrier islands since 1988. Last year alone, volunteers removed 14 tons of litter from about 200 miles of coastal area.

The Pinecote Pavillion stands in the background of the pond at the Crosby Arboretum.
September 12, 2017 - Filed Under: Landscape Design and Management, Environment

PICAYUNE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum celebrates its formal, 20-year partnership with the university on Sept. 15. 

On that date in 1997 the facility was incorporated into the MSU Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine. Managed by the MSU Extension Service, the arboretum is an award-winning, internationally recognized native plant conservatory dedicated to research, education and preservation of plants found in the Pearl River Drainage Basin. 

"The arboretum is regarded as the premier conservatory in the Southeast, and it is an important keystone of Piney Woods heritage,” said Pat Drackett, arboretum director. “It is a wonderful educational tool that helps teach people about our local ecosystems and preserves them for future generations. We are honored every day to help fulfill the vision shaped by the Crosby family and the Crosby Arboretum Foundation almost 40 years ago."

The 2017 Gulf of Mexico dead zone, primarily off the coast of Louisiana, recently measured 8,776 square miles, the largest ever recorded in 32 years of monitoring. Reducing the size of the hypoxic zone is important to ensure continued productivity of the Gulf fishery. (Data source: N.N. Rabalais, Louisiana State University and Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium; R.E. Turner, LSU. Funding: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, http://www.gulfhypoxi
August 25, 2017 - Filed Under: Environment, Marine Resources

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A new record has been set in the Gulf of Mexico, but it is not one to brag about because it threatens a multibillion-dollar fishing industry.

The most recent Gulf dead zone measured in the summer of 2017 was the largest ever recorded in 32 years of monitoring. It covered 8,776 square miles, which is closer to the size of New Jersey than the average zone size of 5,309 square miles. Reducing the size of the hypoxic zone is important if we want to ensure continued productivity of the Gulf fishery.

Keep dogs on leashes while on nature trails to keep them from chasing or harassing the wildlife. Bring all trash and leftover food with you when your outdoor adventure concludes. (Photos by MSU Extension Service/Evan O’Donnell)
July 21, 2017 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Environment

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Whether fishing, hunting, boating, hiking, photographing or wildlife watching, all outdoor enthusiasts should practice "Leave No Trace."

Leave No Trace is a set of seven easy-to-follow principles meant to reduce manmade negative impacts on the environment.

Brett Rushing, an assistant professor at Mississippi State University, discusses various planting and maintenance methods used on four native wildflower plots at the MSU Coastal Plains Branch Experiment Station in Newton on July 13, 2017, during the Wildflower Field Day. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Susan Collins-Smith)
July 20, 2017 - Filed Under: Community, Natural Resources, Environment

NEWTON, Miss. -- Travelers on Mississippi highways and interstates may have noticed colorful stands of native wildflowers planted in various sites for the last two years.

Part of the Wildflower Trails of Mississippi project, these patches of flowers and grasses serve as testing areas for roadside plantings that project coordinators hope will attract tourists and provide colorful habitat for pollinators for years to come. Initiated in 2015, the project is coordinated by Keep Mississippi Beautiful and supported by Mississippi State University and several state agencies.

Wild pigs have been part of the landscape in the Southeast since Hernando de Soto released them in the 1500s as a source of food for settlers. In the last 20 years, the nuisance animals have increased their range and population in Mississippi, threatening native wildlife and causing millions of dollars in damage to crops, land, timber, structures and farm equipment each year. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Steven Tucker)
July 19, 2017 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Environment, Forestry, Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Wild pigs have roamed parts of the Southeast since Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto introduced them as food for early settlers in the 16th century. But during the last two decades, Mississippi has experienced a rapid uptick in the spread of the nuisance animal.

July 18, 2017 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Environment, Fisheries, Forestry, Invasive Plants, Marine Resources, Water, Wildlife

BILOXI, Miss. -- Individuals interested in learning more about conservation of Mississippi's natural resources can attend the Coastal Mississippi Master Naturalist class.

The seven-week course begins at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 7 at the Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center, located at 1815 Popp's Ferry Road in Biloxi. Classes meet once a week at various locations through Oct. 17. Weekday classes meet from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Weekend classes begin at 9 a.m. and end at 4 p.m.

Computerized hole selection provides furrow irrigation of rice with water from a tailwater recovery system in the Mississippi Delta. (MSU Extension Service file photo)
May 26, 2017 - Filed Under: Environment, Water

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- As temperatures rise and rainfall declines over the hot summer months, it is important to use our water resources efficiently.

Luckily, there are technologies and innovative strategies that farmers can employ to make every drop of water count.

Ali Fratesi Pinion raises pigs as a healthy source of local meat and manages them to benefit the soil on her Clay County farm. (MSU Extension Service file photo/Kevin Hudson)
February 2, 2017 - Filed Under: Women for Agriculture, Food and Health, Environment

CEDAR BLUFF, Miss. -- Ali Fratesi Pinion may be part of the millennial generation, but she farms more like her great-grandparents.

Pinion and her husband, Dustin, operate Beaverdam Farms in Clay County on the principle that healthy soils create better foods and communities. The Pinions have modeled their farm after a successful project in Virginia that emphasizes building up the soil, capturing carbons and feeding local communities.

A Mississippi State University associate professor of landscape architecture, working with the Mississippi Water Resources Research Institute, designed this dry swale to reduce nonpoint-source pollution from runoff at a south Mississippi golf course. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Beth Baker).
January 13, 2017 - Filed Under: Environment, Water

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Heavy winter and spring precipitation can result in water runoff from roads, homes, lawns and parking lots, washing more than water downstream.

Strong winds and fires can ruin an otherwise beautiful day. Before you light a fire, consider conditions and control options if the fire begins to move in unwanted directions. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Andrew Smith)
December 23, 2016 - Filed Under: Environment, Wildlife

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Burn bans such as the ones recently imposed in Mississippi are not unusual, especially in the fall when dry leaves are abundant.

The Mississippi Forestry Commission will issue a burn ban, typically at the request of a county board of supervisors. Once approved, the ban prohibits all outdoor burning until local authorities deem that conditions have improved enough to allow safe and responsible burning.

A radish cover crop planted in early fall as part of a research demonstration project is thriving at Michael Graves’ farm near Ripley, Mississippi. (File Photo by MSU College of Forest Resources)
December 2, 2016 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Farming, Natural Resources, Environment

RIPLEY, Miss. -- This winter, a Mississippi farm will serve as a research facility for a multiyear project involving local, state and federal partners.

Jessica Lero, left, records the types of trash Kaileb Williams, center, and Laila Williams found while participating in the 2016 Mississippi Coastal Cleanup on Oct. 22 in Biloxi, Mississippi, with their Mississippi State University Extension Service 4-H club in Harrison County. They joined about 2,400 volunteers to collect more than an estimated 10 tons of trash during the 28th annual event. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Susan Collins-Smith)
October 27, 2016 - Filed Under: 4-H, Natural Resources, Environment

BILOXI, Miss. -- About 2,400 volunteers helped remove trash from beaches and other waterways during the Mississippi Coastal Cleanup on Oct. 22.

Organizers estimate that volunteers collected more than 10 tons of debris at the 28th annual Gulf Coast event. The Mississippi State University Extension Service organizes and implements the Coastal Cleanup in partnership with the Mississippi Marine Debris Task Force. Members of the community and local organizations combed more than 50 sites located on beaches, barrier islands and coastal waterways.

Mississippi foliage is just beginning to change to fall colors in Oktibbeha County on Oct. 12, 2016. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
October 14, 2016 - Filed Under: Trees, Environment

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- It appears the fickle Mississippi weather has finally caught up with the calendar.

As of the Autumnal Equinox on Sept. 22, we entered autumn or fall, a glorious transitional season between the sweltering heat and humidity of summer and the cold, damp days of winter. Recent cooler days and crisp nights attest to the change.

October 13, 2016 - Filed Under: Farming, Health, Natural Resources, Environment

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State University agricultural economists are hosting an Oct. 27-28 sustainable agriculture conference that integrates environmental health, economic profitability and consumer demand for efficient, long-term use of resources.

The Mississippi Agricultural Economics Association is holding its 42nd annual meeting at MSU to discuss sustainability in agriculture.

August 23, 2016 - Filed Under: Insects, Environment

PICAYUNE, Miss. -- Families and school groups can have fun while learning about insects and their habitats at the annual Crosby Arboretum Bugfest Sept. 16 and 17 in Picayune.

The hands-on event, held at the Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum, encourages children, teachers and parents to get curious about the world of entomology.

Attendees can participate in insect-themed games, educational presentations, arts and crafts, and collection and identification opportunities. A staffed mounting station will be available throughout the event.

August 9, 2016 - Filed Under: Natural Resources, Environment

BILOXI, Miss. -- Mississippians interested in working with the state’s natural resources can get in-depth education and certification through an eight-week course.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium will host the Coastal Mississippi Master Naturalist Program from Sept. 2 to Oct. 21.

Participants will meet once a week from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to learn basic principles of natural resource ecology and management through classroom instruction, field activities and team exercises.

Imitating bats that like to hang upside down is a fun activity for children as they explore a nature trail at St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge near Natchez, Mississippi, on July 7, 2016. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
July 29, 2016 - Filed Under: Community, Natural Resources, Environment

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Outdoor recreation is an economic giant that receives far less attention than most of the other industries in our country.

We usually think of the pharmaceutical, insurance, energy, automotive and health care industries as drivers of a strong economy. We rarely discuss with our friends and relatives the industry of outdoor recreation or its potential to create jobs. Yet, outdoor recreation has changed in the modern world, and it’s time to change the way we view this expanding market.

Using reusable products and eating unprocessed foods are good for the environment and simple steps along the path in the “going green” journey. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Beth Baker)
July 22, 2016 - Filed Under: Environment

STARKVILLE, Miss. – The “going green” movement is evidence that people and businesses are becoming increasingly concerned about the environment.

The development of products that are energy efficient and eco-friendly also shows that people want to protect the earth and its precious resources.

Throughout hot, dry seasons, pine straw serves as a perfect mulch around native plants in this rock garden outside of Thompson Hall at Mississippi State University. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Beth Baker)
May 20, 2016 - Filed Under: Environment, Water

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Despite above-average rainfall in Mississippi between January and March, only a small portion of that moisture made it back into our groundwater, which is the primary source for household needs, including water for lawns and gardens.

Pages