Singer Jimmy Buffet meets with USM president, helps oil spill efforts

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Singer Jimmy Buffett, a 1969 USM graduate, met with University of Southern Mississippi officials recently.

Buffett met University President Martha Saunders and her team of researchers in early June offering to help in their efforts to study the Gulf Coast oil spill.

Buffett paid a visit to the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Ocean Springs to talk about their needs regarding the examination of the spill.

To help out, Buffett partnered with Dragon Fly boats out of Florida who is creating specialized boats for the lab. Buffett is donating those boats to the university.

Saunders said Buffett e-mailed her saying he wanted to see the lab's work.

"He came and met with our scientists and got a briefing on the kind of work we are doing, and Mark Castlow came, and we talked about the progress of the boats," said Saunders. "So it was a great day. We got to see a great alum and talk about what we can do together toward maybe improving the prospects with this oil spill."

Dragon Fly boats are designed to navigate in shallow water.

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