Marshwalk Pier Design at Shepard State Park

Cypress was contracted to design and permit a pier project at Shepard State Park in Gautier, Mississippi. The project connects two hiking trails in the park with a pier over marshes and Lamotte Bayou to provide ample opportunities for park visitors to see and interact with the marsh.

Cypress developed four conceptual design alternatives for Heflin Engineering and the City of Gautier. The pier design alternatives were based on the key concepts of:

  • Low-impact design relative to submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV)
  • Low-impact design relative to marsh vegetation
  • Not impeding kayak or canoe navigation of Lamotte Bayou
  • Providing users with an engaging and interesting view of the many species living in the marsh and bayou

Following collaboration meetings with the City, a preferred conceptual design was selected. Project renderings were prepared to show the project from a human-scale perspective and inform stakeholders on how the project would look.

Cypress completed design development, delivering pier design drawings and technical specifications in 2019. Cypress conducted regulatory consultations and successfully obtained permits for the 1,100-foot-long pier – the longest pier of this type to be permitted in coastal Mississippi. As part of the permitting process, SAV, bathymetric and shellfish resource surveys were completed via water-based methods and small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS). A threatened and endangered species survey was also completed.

Pier construction was completed in December 2020. This project was funded by the State of Mississippi’s Tidelands Trust Fund.

About Cypress

Cypress Environmental Services (Cypress), LLC, is a small, woman-owned business specializing in engineering, planning, and environmental science from our office in Biloxi, Mississippi. We provide a range of environmental science and engineering services including consulting, construction administration, and construction contracting and are a licensed engineering firm in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida and Georgia.

Cypress focuses on creating better projects where the built environment meets the natural environment. We stay abreast of current research as well as innovations in products, materials, and techniques to provide the most cost-effective methods to achieve an individual client’s objectives while planning and building projects and developments that work with the environment.

Low impact pier
Piling layout for pier design