Save Mississippi’s Turkey Creek Communities!
Mississippi’s Turkey Creek flows through and supports two historically important Black communities. One is Turkey Creek, which was established in 1866, when a small group of recently emancipated former slaves exercised their newly acquired rights of citizenship, property-ownership and self-determination to purchase and settle 320 acres. The other community is Forest Heights, which was established in 1966, as one of the nation’s first integrated home ownership developments for low-income families. Since the late 1990s, residents of these communities, plus North Gulfport, Mississippi, have had to fight efforts to develop wetlands surrounding their communities and the Creek.
In recent years, climate change has increased storm surges and the frequency of routine flooding in these communities, the impacts of which are multiplied by commercial sprawl. These issues are increasingly impacting the water quality and health of Turkey Creek as well as the health, safety and economic integrity of the Black communities alongside it.
Turkey Creek and the surrounding wetlands play a key role in absorbing flood waters and mitigating these risks. Unfortunately, they are under threat from more commercial developments. The wetlands must be protected and restored to ensure that they can continue to perform their important water absorbing ecological function. The health and well-being of these communities cannot be brushed aside any longer.
Join us in calling on the City of Gulfport, as well as state and federal officials, to listen to our concerns and stop the development of critical Turkey Creek wetlands to save the Turkey Creek and Forest Heights communities from flooding, pollution and other environmental injustice issues.