We moved from Alabama over to Mississippi. Although we were in the vicinity of the Gulf while in Alabama (about 20 miles) we really are at the Gulf here in Mississippi. We are staying at a campground associated with a casino. We are just across the road from a sandy Gulf beach.
Our first full day here we toured the Gulf Coast from Bay St Louis where we are camped through Pass Christian, Long Beach, Gulfport, and Biloxi. If those names sound familiar, they are areas that were devastated by Hurricane Katrina. You often think of New Orleans when you think of Katrina, but New Orleans was affected heavily by the breaching of the levees and the related flooding. The Mississippi Gulf coast took the brunt of the winds. Katrina hit over seven years ago, but you still see signs of its devastation. One thing we particularly enjoyed though was the “Katrina Sculptures”. In the devastation and destruction including of trees that had stood for generations, Martin Miller a professional wood sculptor spent three years carving a trail of sculptures that stretches for 40 miles.
One of the main forms of commerce on the Mississippi Gulf Coast is the casino industry. There are 12 casinos in this stretch of shoreline. Most all of them also were heavily damaged by Katrina. Before Katrina, all casinos there were required to be “riverboats”. These giant multi-story barges were washed ashore during Katina and in some cases created yet more damage smashing homes and buildings as they were tossed around on the mainland. After Katrina the law was changed so that the casinos could be land-based. That spawned a building/rebuilding boom that has turned the greater Biloxi area into a gaming destination. Yes, we made a bit of a donation to the recovery of the post-Katrina casinos.