Ponds and Lagoons of Gulf Islands National Seashore

by Stephen V. Cofer-Shabica, Gulf Islands Natl Seashore, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Barrier Islands: Process and Management


A physical and natural resource survey was conducted of the ponds and lagoons on Horn and Petit Bois Islands, Gulf Islands National Seashore, Mississippi. Petit Bois Island contains 17 ponds and lagoons that comprise a total of 18.71 ha, or 3.2% of the island's land mass. Horn Island has 63 ponds and lagoons covering a total of 77.53 ha, or 5.8% of the island's land mass. Since 1965-66, on Horn Island 17 ponds and lagoons have remained relatively stable, temporally and spatially. In addition, 12 water bodies evolved into five discrete ponds, 19 bodies ceased to exist, and 38 new water bodies originated and evolved into ponds. The ponds and lagoons of both Horn and Petit Bois Islands are concentrated on the eastern, geologically oldest, and most stable portions of the islands. All ponds and lagoons consist of salt and brackish waters. The literature pertinent to the vegetation, fin fish, and oyster populations of selected ponds and lagoons is reviewed. A discussion of pond and lagoon dynamics as related to their origins and evolution is given. Recommendations for dealing with oil spills are made.

Subject Headings: Ponds | Lagoons | Islands | Gulfs | Shores | Hazardous materials spills | Natural resources | Salt water | Mississippi | United States

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