The Jackson County Board of Supervisors and Jackson County Recreation Department will host its inaugural Sand Jam 2021 “Turtle Up Mississippi”— A Celebration of Mississippi’s Native Turtles – on Saturday, June 12 on Ocean Springs Front Beach. The first-year event will feature a team sand sculpting competition, informational booths, beach and water activities, as well as food vendors.
The team sand sculpture competition is open to ages 17 and younger and will be split into three age categories:
- 7 years old and younger
- 8 to 12 years old, and
- 13 to 17 years old.
A limit of 15 teams per category will be allowed to compete. The theme for the competition is “Turtle Up Mississippi!” – A Celebration of Mississippi’s Native Turtles and will focus on raising awareness about the protection of native turtles and their habitats.
Darcie Crew, Director of Jackson County Recreation says this unique event will be a fun way to celebrate native turtles while also educating participants and spectators on how we can all work together to protect them. “Our Mississippi wildlife is amazing, but some species need our help to survive and thrive. So, it is important to us to educate people on the seven species of endangered turtles native to our area and ways that people can help protect them” says Crew.
According to Barbara Medlock, Outdoor Recreation Specialist with Jackson County and event chairperson, the event is a collaboration between Jackson County and several coastal Mississippi businesses and organizations that have a deep connection with protecting our Mississippi land, waterways, and wildlife.
“We’re extremely fortunate to have lots of support from our local businesses and non-profit organizations for the event. We especially want to thank Rain Residential, Chevron, Plastic Free Gulf Coast, Wild at Heart Animal Rescue, the Walter Anderson Museum of Art, HOMETECH, Keep Mississippi Beautiful, Central Mississippi Turtle Rescue and the Friends of Arts, Culture, and Education for their support with this event,” says Medlock.
Team registration is now open for the event and costs $20 per team to participate. Medals in each age division will be awarded and an overall “Sanding-Ovation” award will be presented to one team. The overall winner will have the opportunity to name a turtle being rehabilitated by Wild at Heart Rescue.
For more information on how you can compete in Sand Jam 2021, visit www.jacksoncountysandjam.com or call 228-826-5330.