Pass Christian selected for Navy oceanographic office

Published 7:36 pm Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Naval Oceanographic Office is moving its boat operations from Gulfport to the Pass Christian harbor and will build a permanent facility there, officials say.

“We got a letter from the Coast Guard (a few months ago) saying they wouldn’t be able to accommodate us on their site,” said Carl Sellers with the Naval Facilities Southeast region command.

The Pass Christian harbor was selected after a long search, Sellers said.

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“It’s a great opportunity for us,” said Sellers, adding that he was glad they would be moving a little closer to the Stennis Space Center, where NAVO is based and where the Department of Marine Resources trailer used to sit.

Sellers said the move also brings three 40-foot boats and a two-story building, the bottom story of which will be open air because of elevation requirements.

The move and construction are done under the Navy’s office in charge of construction Katrina that is involved in more than $1.5 billion of storm recovery and rebuilding projects, said spokeswoman Sue Brink.

Pass Christian Mayor Chipper McDermott said he looks forward to the potential for commercial traffic the Navy office will bring to the harbor and downtown.

There is some dispute over where the Department of Marine Resources and the Naval Oceanographic Office will put their offices, but McDermott said he expects that to be resolved soon.

The Naval Oceanographic Office acquires and analyzes global ocean and near-shore meteorological and geographic data mostly for the military and occasionally for civilian, national and international customers, according to its Web site.