SIERRA CLUB -- MISSISSIPPI CHAPTER

The Sierra Club, the nation’s oldest grassroots environmental organization, was established by John Muir in 1892. In Mississippi, the Sierra Club has been active for over two decades, working to protect the health of communities and the environment. The Mississippi Chapter is comprised of three groups around the state – the Golden Triangle Group (Starkville/Oxford): Juliet Tang, Chair, 662-338-5426, the Central Group (Jackson):Ann Somers, Chair, 601-842-3288, and the Coast Group: Steve Shepard, Chair, 228-872-0508.

Please contact your closest local group if you would like to help plan outings, participate in environmental events, or work on campaigns. And if you would like to contribute financially to the state chapter, please enclose a check made out to “Mississippi Chapter, Sierra Club",and address it to: Mississippi Sierra Club, 921 North Congress St. Jackson, Mississippi 39202.

State Executive Committee
Michael Berk, Starkville, CHAIR
Ann Somers, Jackson, TREASURER (Central Group Delegate)
Michael Correro, De Kalb
Rose Johnson, Gulfport
Julia O'Neal, Ocean Springs
Ken Ruckstahl, Jackson
Linda St. Martin, Gulfport (CCL Delegate)
John Schneider, Starkville (Golden Triangle Group Delegate)
Louis Skrmetta, Gulfport (Coast Group Delegate)

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • Blocked state efforts to make Mississippi communities a national dumping ground for hazardous waste
  • Prevented the proliferation of polluting factory hog farms across the state
  • Protected the Big Sunflower River from a damaging dredging project
  • Safeguarded the Pascagoula River by defeating plans to turn the Richton salt dome into an oil reserve
  • Protected the federally-recognized Gulf Islands National Seashore from oil and gas exploration and drilling (2004)
  • Campaigned to expose toxic formaldehyde in FEMA trailers to protect health of residents following Hurricane Katrina (2005), which has resulted in stronger federal regulations
  • Persuaded EPA to stop a Corps project (Yazoo Pumps) that would have destroyed over 220,000 acres of wetlands in the Yazoo River Delta, an ecosystem that protects local communities from flooding and provides important wildlife habitat

CURRENT PROJECTS

  • Kemper County Coal Plant & Mine

    Mississippi Power has proposed a dirty coal plant and 45-square mile lignite coal mine in Kemper County. The “experimental” coal gasification plant would dump 63 pounds of toxic mercury every year into waterways, and the mine would threaten the headwaters of the Pascagoula and displace local families. The Mississippi Business Journal estimates the project would raise customers’ monthly electric bills by over 45%. The Sierra Club has organized a diverse coalition of groups and community leaders across the state to stop this project while pushing for renewable energy solutions that emphasize cleaner, safer alternatives.

  • Drilling in the Mississippi Sound along Gulf Islands National Seashore

    In December 2011, then-Governor Barbour re-started efforts to open state waters to oil and gas exploration and development – including the pristine Gulf Islands National Seashore. The Sierra Club has revived the 12 Miles South Coalition from the original anti-drilling push in 2004, which is a diverse alliance of community and business interests. The Sierra Club has filed legal actions to challenge the proposal and is working to educate and build broad public momentum to defeat the proposal once again.

  • BP Oil Disaster Recovery & Restoration

    Since the BP Oil Disaster in April 2010, the Sierra Club has worked with citizens and partners throughout the Gulf Coast to ensure BP cleans up its mess and ecosystems are fully restored. Through legal action, education, and advocacy, our work includes protecting public health from toxic oil dispersants, creating a Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council so local citizens have a voice in industry actions, ensuring restoration dollars are used for appropriate projects, and promoting research by independent scientists.

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