Gulfport, Miss.—As Memorial Day weekend marks the official start of summer tourism season, Audubon Mississippi is excited to unveil a Coastal Bird Storyboard Trail comprised of six interpretive displays being installed along Beach Boulevard in Harrison County. The prominent, eye-catching signs combine local artwork, science, and poetry to educate beachgoers about the unique beach-nesting birds that visit coastal Mississippi every summer to breed and raise their young.
Audubon partnered with local artist team The Painter and Poet, artist Tami Curtis and writer Perry Guy to create the visually-appealing storyboard trail that now stretches along 26 miles of beaches. The six educational signs each feature one of six key species that nest on Mississippi beaches or migrate through the area.
The signs will a big boost to Audubon’s ongoing effort to educate locals and visitors in protecting beach-nesting birds while also helping to support the state’s $8-billion-dollar-a-year nature tourism economy. Beach-nesting birds such as Least Terns are charismatic species that draw birders, photographers, and other nature enthusiasts, and coastal Mississippi hosts some of the country’s largest Least Tern colonies.
The six signs are located at: Beauvoir Rd and Hwy 90 in Biloxi; The parking bay across from Edgewater Mall in Biloxi; Jones Park and Broad Avenue and Hwy 90 in Gulfport; Jeff Davis Avenue and Hwy 90 in Long Beach; and Henderson Point Park in Pass Christian. A GOMESA grant made the project possible.
What: Audubon’s new Coastal Bird Storyboard Trail
When: Friday, May 28, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ***with 9:00 a.m. ribbon-cutting***
Where: Intersection of Broad Avenue and Highway 90, Gulfport
Who: Melinda Averhart, Stewardship Manager, Audubon Mississippi
Tami Curtis, Local Artist/Owner, The Painter and Poet
Visuals: 2-foot by 3-foot interpretive sign that is installed near a bird nesting colony
Established in 1998, Audubon Mississippi is a pioneering non-profit that uses conservation, education, advocacy, and science to benefit birds, wildlife, and their habitats. Audubon Mississippi has 10,500 members and serves as the state office of the National Audubon Society. Learn more at ms.audubon.org.
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon’s state programs, nature centers, chapters and partners have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire and unite diverse communities in conservation action. Since 1905, Audubon’s vision has been a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Audubon is a nonprofit conservation organization. Learn more at www.audubon.org and @audubonsociety.