Byline: Associated Press
OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (AP) — Thanks to a donation from entertainer Jimmy Buffett and his sisters, schoolchildren on the Gulf Coast will have a new way to learn about the bays and bayous of South Mississippi.
The Buffetts joined University of Southern Mississippi officials Dec. 5 at the Gulf Coast Research Lab in Ocean Springs to present a new research vessel to the laboratory. Miss Peetsy B is named in honor of their late mother, Mary Lorraine Peetsy Buffett.
Peetsy, as her grandchildren called her, grew up on the Gulf Coast and graduated from the Gulf Park College for Women in 1940. She later received a university degree at the age of 64.
The 33-foot vessel was built in 1973. Buffett said his longtime friend Jimbo Meador found the boat and shepherded the project.
“We’ve been working with them for a little over a year to design and get a boat that meets our needs and allows us to do educational programs cost effectively,” said Chris Snyder, director of the Marine Education Program.
Snyder said the program hosts around 4,000 students each year, and the addition of Miss Peetsy B will allow it to expand its educational offerings.