Mobile District has started the first phase of a 2.5-year, $349 million project that will restore Ship Island to its contiguous configuration. In 1969, Hurricane Camille swept across the Gulf and up into Mississippi, cutting a swatch that divided Ship Island into two separate islands. The resulting breach is known as Camille Cut, named for the infamous storm. The district is employing one of the newest and the largest hopper dredges in the American fleet, the Ellis Island. In addition to projecting coastal Mississippi from storms, the island is home to several endangered species, nesting Bald Eagles and Fort Massachusetts, a military fortress that predates the Civil War.