Ocean Springs is a city in Jackson County, Mississippi, United States, about 2 mi east of Biloxi. It is part of the Pascagoula, Mississippi Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 17,225 at the 2000 census.The town has a reputation as an "arts community." Its historic and secluded downtown area, with streets lined by Live Oak trees, is home to several art galleries and shops plying shiny wares new and old alike. It is also home to a number of ethnic restaurants relatively uncommon in surrounding communities, such as Mediterraneo, Phoenicia Gourmet, and Shady's Global Grille on Government street. One particular gastronomic landmark is the locally-owned Lagniappe Restaurant, a culinary gathering place for locals since the 1970s which now specializes in catering and private parties.Ocean Springs was the hometown of the late Walter Inglis Anderson, a nationally renowned painter and muralist who died in 1965 resulting from lung cancer. The town plays host to several festivals, including its Peter Anderson Festival and The Herb Festival.Ocean Springs was severely damaged on August 29, 2005, by Hurricane Katrina, which smashed many buildings along the shoreline, including the Ocean Springs Yacht Club, and the historic wooden Fort Maurepas, and gutted or flooded other buildings. Katrina's 25 ft storm surge also destroyed the Biloxi Bay Bridge, which connected Biloxi to Ocean Springs.