Keith Chenier

  • October 2023

Extension Associate

Coastal Research and Extension Center

MSU Extension

Years at MSU: 3


With a last name that means “oak grove” in Cajun French, Keith Chenier fittingly boasts a love for the outdoors. 

Now, as a Mississippi State University Extension associate, he has turned his childhood pastime of woodland exploration and collegiate studies of coastal environments into a career focused on preserving natural resources.

“I studied coastal ecology and restoration as an undergraduate, so this was a perfect fit,” said Chenier, of his marine work with MSU’s Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi.

His work revolves around large-scale marine debris removal projects and sustainability education.

“Being a lifelong outdoorsman, I never wanted to stray far from the Gulf of Mexico marshes,” Chenier said. “Combining my coastal science background with the location and work being done at the Coastal Research Center was a no-brainer for me.”

Discovering new ways to educate, Chenier leads a novel litter prevention program known as SWAPS—Sustainability With Awareness in Prevention Solutions.  The program provides litter and waste prevention materials and solutions to students and Mississippi’s coastal communities. He is also a co-lead on three removal projects that collaborate with commercial fisheries to help his staff clean the Mississippi Sound.

“I love when I have the opportunity to include the fishing industry in marine debris removal efforts. Environmental stewardship is something we collectively agree on, but having the ability to provide those tools and resources to the public makes the job that much better.”

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