Bellefontaine Marsh Preserve Updated:11/2020

This preserve located in Jackson County, consists of 1,305 acres and is represented largely by a marine, mesohaline marsh/dune system in that it receives no major freshwater input. The marsh area lies between a coastal oak/pine forest and a narrow (5-10 m) beach dune system. It is composed of a mosaic of: low, mid-level, and high marsh zones; shallow-water ponds; and forested relic-dune/islands. The low marsh is dominated by smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora), occurring in both narrow bands along the creeks and as larger patches. The mid-marsh consists of three general types, dominated by needle rush (Juncus roemerianus), olneyi bulrush (Scirpus olneyi), or big cordgrass (Spartina cynosuroides) in pure or nearly pure stands. The Scirpus zone contains what appear to be numerous "eaten-out" areas where either muskrat or waterfowl had eaten the plants and tubers. The relic dune/islands contain large live oak trees. The combination of Scirpus dominated marsh areas and shallow-water ponds makes this area a prime waterfowl overwintering area. Lands adjacent to the Bellefontaine Marsh Coastal Preserve are either privately, locally, state or federally owned. Much of the property is considered tidal wetlands, and is owned by the State. Poorly working septic systems and encroaching construction threaten the ecological integrity .

Rare/Endangered Species:

  • Pelecanus erythrorhynchos American White Pelican
  • Tyrannus dominicensis Gray Kingbird
  • Malaclemys terrapin Diamondback Terrapin
  • Alligator mississippiensi American Alligator
  • Phaseolus sinuatus Sandhill Bean
  • Juniperus silicicola Southern Red Cedar
  • Neotropical Migrants

Recreational uses include fishing, birding, and boating.
For Comments and/or Additional Information on Bellefontaine Marsh, email the Coastal Preserves Manager.

Contact Bellefontaine Marsh Preserve

REMINDER: This listing is a free service of MississippiLandCAN.
Bellefontaine Marsh Preserve is not employed by or affiliated with the Mississippi Land Conservation Assistance Network, and the Network does not certify or guarantee their services. The reader must perform their own due diligence and use their own judgment in the selection of any professional.


Contact Bellefontaine Marsh Preserve

James Davis
MS Department of Marine Resources
1141 Bayview Avenue
Biloxi, MS  39530
Phone: (228) 374-5000
Cell Phone: (228) 523-4115

Service Area

Services provided in:
  • Harrison County, Mississippi