Lately, I've enjoyed a close reading of the Regulations of the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District (recompiled and indexed June 1, 2011) to glean interesting subject matter for this blog. As I began reading through, I kept bumping into this phrase "reservoir main dam or any dike, levy [sometimes spelled levee], groin, jetty, or mole appurtenant thereto". For example, Rule 1.2 makes it unlawful for any vehicle to park on any part of the "reservoir main dam or any dike, levy, groin, jetty, or mole appurtenant thereto," or Rule 4.1, which makes it unlawful to fish from "any part of the causeway across Pelahatchie Bay in Rankin County, or from any dike, groin, jetty, levy or mole appurtenant thereto."
I feel like I have a good understanding of what the "reservoir main dam" and "causeway across Pelahatchie Bay" are, but what about any "dike, groin, jetty, levy/levee, or mole appurtenant thereto?" I want you, valued reader, to be aware of these definitions so you don't get caught on the wrong side of Reservoir Patrol the next time to take out the fishing pole.
The first place I look when attempting to define specific words or phrases used in State laws are other State laws; however, dike, groin, jetty, levy/levee, or mole are not further defined in the Mississippi Code. Next, I turned to Black's Law Dictionary, which, interestingly, only defined jetty, to wit: "A projection of stone or other material serving as a protection against the waves."
Groin I found at the Dictionary of English Nautical Language. Groin is "a sturdy structure of large stones, timbers or cement built perpendicular to a beach to reduce erosion."
For levy/levee, dike and mole, I had to use the old stand by, the Second College Edition of the American Heritage Dictionary. Levee (not levy) is defined therein as "an embankment raised to prevent a river from overflowing." Dike is defined as "an embankment of earth and rock built to prevent floods" (it is also defined as "a ditch or channel" which seems to me to be the exact opposite of an embankment to prevent floods). Finally, mole is defined as "a massive stone wall used as a breakwater or to enclose an anchorage or harbor."
There you have it. Each word, whose precise definitions were unknown to me previously, are specifically defined above. I encourage each of you to utilize them in your daily conversations today.