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Singing River Island Becomes State Property Again
From: Office of the Sec. of State    Filed 7/9/07  GCN  

Secretary of State Eric Clark represented the State of Mississippi in formally retaking possession of Singing River Island in Pascagoula on Monday.  Jimmy Anderson, Director of the Base Realignment and Closure Committee’s program management office, presented Clark with United States Naval papers signifying the transfer.      

The property, which was a part of the Public Trust Tidelands, was deeded to the Navy under special legislation for construction of the Naval Station in the late 1980s.  The law stated that if the island ever ceased to be used by the Navy, it would automatically revert back to Mississippi. .    

Jimmy Anderson, Director of the Base Realignment and Closure Committee’s program management office, presents Secretary of State Eric Clark with United States Naval papers signifying the transfer of Singing River Island back to the State of Mississippi.  Looking on are (left to right) Clark; John Hunter, Jackson County Port Authority Attorney; Matthew Avery, Pascagoula Mayor, and Robert Norvel, Jackson County Supervisor and Vice-Chair of the Local Reuse Authority

Originally scheduled for November 2006, the reversion was delayed until June 1, 2007, while the Navy completed roofing and other Hurricane Katrina repairs to the structureSinging River Island, where the former naval station is located, consists of approximately 437 acres, with about 187 acres comprising the developed area of the island.  There are some additional 150 acres of developable property. 

 For the past year and a half, Secretary Clark and his staff have been working intensely with officials of the Department of Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission, the Navy, the Local Reuse Authority, Jackson County, the Jackson County Port Authority, and the City of Pascagoula.  These organizations have worked cooperatively to accomplish the reversion of this property to the State of Mississippi and to create a plan for the future use of the island.  The island may be used for a combination of purposes including commercial fishing and also industrial, port, and government activities. 

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