Pat Harrison Waterway District

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Pat Harrison Waterway District
Pat Harrison Waterway District Logo.jpg
TypeState Agency
PurposeFlood control, Recreation
Headquarters17 J M Tatum Industrial Drive, Suite 120
Hattiesburg, Mississippi[1]
Region served
Southeastern and East Central Mississippi
Executive Director

Hiram Boone[2]
WebsitePat Harrison Waterway District

Pat Harrison Waterway District (PHWD) is a Mississippi State Agency with headquarters in Hattiesburg. The agency was created in 1962 with a directive of flood control in southeastern and east central Mississippi.

History and mission[edit]

Pat Harrison Waterway District Headquarters in Hattiesburg, MS[3]

When the Waterway District was created in 1962, its main mission was flood control for rivers and their tributaries along the Pascagoula River Basin in southeastern and east central Mississippi.[4] In addition to flood control, the agency’s mission expanded to include water management and recreation.[1] The District derives its name from Pat Harrison, who served Mississippi as U.S. Representative (1911–19) and Senator (1919-41).


Funding for PHWD comes from ad valorem taxes collected in member Counties, park recreation fees, timber sales, and interest from investments.[5] PHWD is governed by an 18 member Board of Directors, with one Director appointed from each of the 15 member Counties and three Directors appointed by the Governor of Mississippi.[5] Full-time employees are located at the central office in Hattiesburg and at the District’s eight water parks.

Member counties[edit]

Originally, there were 15 Mississippi counties in the Pat Harrison Waterway District:[5]

Former Pat Harrison Waterway District Headquarters in 2012

As of 2014, three counties (Forrest, Jasper, and Lamar) had withdrawn from the District.[6]

In the summer of 2018, PHWD moved out of their 56-year-old office building located at 6081 U.S. Route 49 south, as part of a lawsuit settlement with Forrest County.[7] In September 2018, Forrest County Board of Supervisors ordered the demolition of the county-owned building, including its distinctive mural, to facilitate road construction near Forrest General Hospital.[8][9][10]

Water resources[edit]

Water resources in the Pascagoula River Basin, over which Pat Harrison Waterway District has jurisdiction, include:[5]

Water parks[edit]

The agency oversees eight water parks with public amenities that include camp sites, boat launches, cabins, picnic areas, swimming areas, and meeting facilities.[5]

Little Black Creek Water Park (Lumberton, MS) was formerly managed by PHWD, but was leased to a private developer in 2013.[11]


  1. ^ a b "PHWD - Home". Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  2. ^ Water Resources Association: Pat Harrison Waterway District Retrieved 2014-05-13.
  3. ^ Bunch, Beth (January 18, 2018). "County settles $1.3 million lawsuit |". Retrieved 2018-09-28.
  4. ^ "Pat Harrison Waterway District celebrates 50th anniversary". October 26, 2012. Retrieved 2018-04-14.
  5. ^ a b c d e Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review (PEER) (December 3, 2002). "A Review of the Pat Harrison Waterway District's Management of Archusa Creek Water Park" (PDF). Retrieved 2018-04-14.
  6. ^ "Pat Harrison Waterway District moving headquarter location". Retrieved 2018-04-14.
  7. ^ Herrington, Charles. "Forrest County settles lawsuit with PHWD". Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  8. ^ "Officials explain reasons behind Pat Harrison demolition |". Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  9. ^ "Pat Harrison Waterway Building before Forrest County destroyed it". Preservation in Mississippi. 2018-10-10. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  10. ^ "Social media outcry after Forrest County Supervisors demolish waterway district building". Hattiesburg American. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  11. ^ "Citizen leases Little Black Creek Water Park property". Retrieved 2018-04-14.