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CONGRESS

Sessions

BACK BAY OF BILOXI, MISS.

LETTER

FROM

THE SECRETARY OF WAR,

TRANSMITTING,

WITH A LETTER FROM THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, REPORT ON PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION OF BACK BAY OF BILOXI, MISS., WITH A VIEW TO REMOVING SHOALS AT CRANES NECK AND BILOXI MUD FLATS AND SECURING A DEPTH OF 12 FEET.

OCTOBER 4, 1919.-Referred to the Committee on Rivers and Harbors and

ordered to be printed, with illustration.

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WAR DEPARTMENT,

Washington, October 3, 1919. The SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith a letter from the Chief of Engineers, United States Army, of 30th ultimo, together with report of Mr. F. H. Reed, assistant engineer in charge, dated November 12, 1918, with map, on a preliminary examination of Back Bay of Biloxi, Miss., authorized by the river and harbor act approved August 8, 1917. Very respectfully,

NEWTON D. BAKER,

Secretary of War.

WAR DEPARTMENT,
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS,

Washington, September 30, 1919.
From: The Chief of Engineers, United States Army.
To: The Secretary of War.
Subject: Preliminary examination of Back Bay of Biloxi, Miss.

1. There is submitted herewith for transmission to Congress report dated November 12, 1918, with map, by Mr. F. H. Reed, assistant engineer in charge, on preliminary examination authorized by the

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river and harbor act approved August 8, 1917, of Back Bay of Biloxi, Miss., with a view to removing shoals at Cranes Neck and Biloxi Mud Flats and securing a depth of 12 feet.

2. Back Bay of Biloxi is an arm of Mississippi Sound extending from Biloxi Bay westerly for a distance of about 8 miles. Biloxi Mud Flats are in Biloxi Bay at the entrance to Back Bay. Cranes Neck is a shallow section of the channel of Back Bay extending easterly from the mouth of Bayou Bernard for a distance of about 14 miles. It has a depth of about 6 feet, which is the controlling depth in Back Bay Channel. The existing project for improvement of the channel to Biloxi, which is situated on the westerly side of the entrance to Back Bay, provides for a channel 8 feet deep at mean low water and 150 feet wide from the 8-foot contour in Mississippi Sound to the pocket of deep water forming the south water front of the city of Biloxi. The improvement now apparently desired is the deepening of the channel into Back Bay and at Cranes Neck to afford better navigation to the industrial plants located on Back Bay, including a number of shipbuilding plants which desire better facilities for getting large vessels out to deep water. The district engineer states that by careful navigation and by waiting for high tides most of the vessels visiting this locality can enter Back Bay without its improvement, and that the few large vessels now being constructed on Back Bay can be brought out at high tide with the assistance of a tug to pull them through the soft mud flats. Dredging at this locality would injure the oyster beds and is not favored by all persons whose interest would be affected. The cost of the work and its maintenance would be large, and in view of all the circumstances the district engineer is of opinion that it is not advisable for the United States to undertake the proposed improvement. The division engineer concurs in this opinion.

3. This report has been referred, as required by law, to the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, and attention is invited to its report herewith, dated June 10, 1919, concuring in the unfavorable views of the district and division engineers.

4. After due consideration of the above-mentioned reports, I concur in the views of the district engineer, the division engineer, and the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, and therefore report that the improvement by the United States of Back Bay of Biloxi, Miss., with a view to removing shoals at Cranes Neck and Biloxi Mud Flats and securing a depth of 12 feet, is not deemed advisable at the present time.

W. M. BLACK,

Major General.

REPORT OF THE BOARD OF ENGINEERS FOR RIVERS AND HARBORS.

[Third indorsement.]

BOARD OF ENGINEERS FOR RIVERS AND HARBORS,

June 10, 1919. The CHIEF OF ENGINEERS, UNITED STATES ARMY:

1. The following is in review of the district engineer's report on preliminary examination authorized by the river and harbor act approved August 8, 1917, of Back Bay of Biloxi, Miss., with a view

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