A project of the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain

Watershed Description

“The West Boley” is what the locals call the West Hobolochitto Creek.  It runs south through Pearl River County just west of Poplarville to Picayune where it joins with the East Hobolochitto before flowing to the Pearl River.  The West Boley is navigable most of the year from Sones Chapel Road to its confluence with East Boley.  Its tributaries include Mill Creek, Long Branch, Kennedy Creek, Price Creek, White Sands Creek and Little Hell Creek.  The upper watershed remains rural in nature; outside of Poplarville, the county seat, the primary land uses are timber production and pastureland.  In the lower watershed, new housing demands are acute since many people from New Orleans and coastal Mississippi are relocating in order to escape storm surges as well as “city pressures”.

West Boley swimming hole.

Based on initial field trips and meetings with stakeholders, the following management practices and actions are being considered for inclusion in the watershed implementation plan:

  1. Critical area plantings, specifically streamside buffers and wetlands
  2. Passive stream restoration structures
  3. Green design residential developments that protect wetlands and water features with conservation easements in perpetuity
  4. 4Sewer service or alternative waste water management systems thus reducing contamination from failing septic systems
  5. Conservation easements to protect streamside buffers and wetlands
  6. Environmental education programs specific to the West Boley Creek
  7. Low impact public access to the Creek

Dr. Mike Hanley explains creek change over time.

Watershed Partnership

One of the goals of the watershed partnership was to develop and implement a solution-oriented action plan.  We have two primary objectives:  (1) Research, identify and implement watershed protection and associated education strategies for the West Boley Creek; (2) Research, design and implement watershed restoration and associated education strategies for West Boley Creek.  Protection is defined as defending the existing natural and cultural resources of the Watershed from further degradation caused by encroachment, abuse or neglect.  Restoration is defined as actively initiating or accelerating the recovery of the ecological and cultural health, integrity and sustainability of the watershed that has been degraded, damaged or destroyed.

The Land Trust’s efforts to build a partnership in West Boley Creek began in May of 2006 with David Spector agreeing to chair and develop a steering committee.  The first steering committee meeting was held in June 2006 followed by field trip investigations with steering committee members and Dr. Michael Hanley (See report, Appendix B, page 22).  The first community forum was held at the Pearl River Community College on October 24, 2006.   The second community forum was held at the Picayune Sr. Citizen’s Center on November 16, 2006.  We have learned much from the participants and are very appreciative of their participation; we especially thank J.B. Hodge, Darrin Harris and Julia Anderson who spent hours in the field and on the phone helping shape our direction.

Section of the West Boley Creek with hardwood forest buffer zone.

Litter in West Boley Creek.

Discussing geomorphologic problems in the creek.

West Boley Creek Watershed Partnership Steering Committee Members