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‘Mississippi is world-famous for its marine fossils’ | MDEQ recognizes environmental celebrations

FILE Waynesboro, MS fossil exhibit
FILE Waynesboro, MS fossil exhibit(Eddie Robertson)
Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 8:38 AM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - October 13 and 15 are important days for Mississippi.

October 13 is National Fossil Day and Geological Map Day is October 15.

Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality’s (MDEQ) Office of Geology is recognizing both national events that highlight environmental research and education.

“MDEQ’s Office of Geology produces important maps and publications that are used daily by all types of Mississippians as well as researchers outside the state,” MDEQ Executive Director Chris Wells said.

“Mississippi is world-famous for its marine fossils of Late Cretaceous, Late Eocene, and Early Oligocene age. Scientists from many foreign counties have come to Mississippi to collect and study the state’s fossils, including British geologist Charles Lyell who collected Pleistocene fossils at Natchez, Oligocene fossils at Vicksburg, and Eocene fossils at Jackson in 1846. We encourage the public to learn more about Mississippi’s fascinating fossil history,” said David Dockery, Director of MDEQ’s Office Geology and the State Geologist.

The Surface Geology Division conducts surface geologic mapping and research into the geology, paleontology, and mineral resources of the state.

It produces surface geologic information such as maps, bulletins, and circulars that provide the basic information needed for assessment of the distribution and availability of energy and mineral resources, location of geologic hazards, occurrence and availability of water resources, and the suitability of land for various uses.

“Geology is the basis for the environment, and geologic maps provide the fundamental resource for our understanding of the environment with a three-dimensional framework,” James Starnes, Director of the Surface Geology Division, added.

National Fossil Day is an annual celebration that spotlights the scientific and educational value of paleontology and the importance of preserving fossils for future generations.

Geologic Map Day focuses the attention of students, teachers, and the general public on the creation, study, uses, and significance of geologic maps for education, science, business, and a variety of public policy concerns.

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