The Pearl River originates in Neshoba County, Mississippi, passes by the state capital, Jackson, flows along the border of Louisiana, and eventually drains to the Mississippi Sound. The river is approximately 490 miles in length and drains an area of 8,760 square miles. The Ross Barnett Reservoir, a 33,000 acre impoundment on the river, provides the drinking water supply for much of Mississippi. The Pearl River Basin is rich in ecological resources including over 40 species of mussels and 130 species of native fish. It supports seven federally-listed species including the ringed map turtle, Gulf Sturgeon, inflated heelsplitter mussel, Bald Eagle, dusky gopher frog and Louisiana black bear. Threats to the river include point-source pollution from the various industries located along the river and from the Jackson sewage treatment plant. Farming runoff and high sediment loads caused by construction and the logging industry further impact water quality on the river. Now, the proposed “One Lake” project would require the dredging of 7 miles of the Pearl to widen, deepen and straighten the waterway for commercial development. The Pearl River Waterkeeper will actively engage the community and inter-agency stakeholders to advocate for protection of this waterway.
Abby Bramam is the Executive Director and Pearl Riverkeeper. Her childhood was spent in the outdoors and on the water in New Jersey lakes and oceans. Her passion for the ocean led to her graduation from the University of South Carolina in 1993 with a BS in Marine Science. She attended the University on a ROTC scholarship and was commissioned an Ensign in the United States Navy. Her Navy career consisted of Flight School at Pensacola, FL, designation as a Naval Aviator, tour with Helicopter Squadron 7 as an SH-60 Seahawk Pilot, and then TH-57 Flight Instructor. Upon the birth of her daughter in 2003, Abby was honorably discharged from the Navy, and upon her husband’s retirement from the Marine Corps in 2016, she moved with her family to Madison, Mississippi. Abby began spending time kayaking the Ross Barnett Reservoir and the beautiful Pearl River and in February of 2017, she started the Take2Miss social media campaign designed to highlight the plastic pollution problems in the watershed. It is Abby's desire to share her passion for clean water with the community and to have a direct impact on the health and welfare of her watershed.
810 Beaumont Dr
Madison, Mississippi 39110