The Pascagoula River Audubon Center, a $2.3 million facility that will provide visitors with a variety of opportunities for first-hand exploration of the Pascagoula River’s rich flora and fauna, officially opened in Moss Point Thursday morning.
It was a journey 11 years in the making for Mark LaSalle, director of the Pascagoula River Audubon Center.
“It took a community to make this happen,” he said. “Our staff and these community leaders know the importance of environmental education and conservation. The center will have a long lasting impact on our community. This will be a place where memories are made.”
LaSalle began working for the Center when it was housed in a building on Main Street of downtown Moss Point. His fundraising efforts led to partnerships with Jackson County’s biggest industries, including Mississippi Power.
“I remember well when this center was just a vision of Mark LaSalle’s,” Environmental Affairs Director Mark Loughman said. “He and his team engaged partners from the public and private sector early on and those relationships and the outstanding work done by Mark and his team are the reasons we’re standing here today.”
Visitors to PRAC can take boat tours of the river, walk trails and boardwalks to view wetland and river habitats and wildlife, watch on-site demonstrations of environmentally friendly concepts and more.
Vice President of Generation and Senior Production Officer Allen Reaves served as the Chairman of PRAC’s Board of Directors this year.
He watched the facility go from an idea on paper to the newest eco-tourism center in south Mississippi.
“This is a proud day for Jackson County and Moss Point,” Reaves said. “To be able to offer such a desired destination to celebrate and promote the beauty and interesting wildlife we enjoy every day is something we should all be proud of. We have exceptional people and culture on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, but our natural resources set us apart from other destinations and that’s why there’s no better place for the Audubon Center.”
Mississippi Power news is available 24/7 at mississippipowernews.com.