The Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area is a partnership of communities, businesses, governmental agencies, non-profit organizations, and individuals who value the region's rich cultural and environmental diversity, history, natural beauty, and traditions. This partnership presents the Mississippi Gulf Coast's distinctive story in terms of its national significance. Visitors experience the Heritage Area through a set of integrated themes that forefronts the Coast's unique qualities and emphasizes the important role the region has played in the history of the United States.
On December 8, 2004, President George Bush signed into Public Law 108-447 establishing the Mississippi Gulf Coast as a National Heritage Area. This enabling legislation designated the six coastal counties of Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Pearl River, Stone and George County a National Heritage Area.
The enabling legislation designated the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources as the coordinating entity for the Heritage Area, in consultation with the Mississippi Department of Archive and History. MDMR is responsible of the coordination of development and implementation of the management Plan.
Authorization of Appropriations to carry out this Act is $10,000,000, of which not more than $1,000,000 may be made available for any fiscal year.
The mission of the Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area is to promote understanding of and to conserve and enhance the heritage resources of the six counties of the Mississippi Gulf Coast by telling the area's nationally significant story to residents and visitors through activities and partnerships that celebrate the area's unique history, people, traditions, and landscapes. It also provides connectivity among the Mississippi Gulf Coast's many heritage resources and serves as a source of pride and identity for residents who are stakeholders in this conservation effort. These resources provide heritage tourists with authentic experiences reflective of the Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area. The residents benefit from increased awareness and appreciation of their environment, history, culture, traditions, and lifestyles. The economic effects of heritage tourism benefit the entire region, and support the long-term enhancement and conservation of those qualities that make the Mississippi Gulf Coast unique.
The heritage area concept offers an innovative method for citizens, in partnership with local, state, and Federal government, and nonprofit and private sector interests, to shape the long-term future of their communities. The partnership approach creates the opportunity for a diverse range of constituents to come together to voice a range of visions and perspectives. Partners collaborate to shape a plan and implement a strategy that focuses on the distinct qualities that make their region special.
We recognize and thank our partners who join the Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area in celebrating the region’s rich cultural and environmental diversity, history, natural beauty and traditions.
The 2016-2017 Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area Community Grants program has awarded $150,800.00 to eight partners to promote enhancement and understanding of the area’s cultural, natural, or historic resources in the six lower coastal counties. Funds for the Heritage Community Grants program are provided by the federal government through the National Parks Service. Eligible applicants included city, state, and county governments, universities, and non-profit groups.
The following entities were awarded for their programs:
The period of performance is October 6, 2016 through September 29, 2017. For more information about the Heritage Community Grants program, contact Kristen Kapiotis by email.
The mission of Heritage Area is to tell this area’s nationally significant story to residents and visitors through activities and partnerships that celebrate the unique history, people, traditions and landscapes of South Mississippi.
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