News

Let’s clean up the Coast

By: Melissa Schneider / Published: Oct 07,  2016

If you are a fan of the Mississippi Gulf Coast’s scenic views and abundant wildlife, you should consider doing your part to help clean up our beaches and waterways. Become a volunteer at the 28th annual Mississippi Coastal Cleanup on Saturday, Oct. 22. Volunteers collect trash and marine debris across the coast to make our waterways safer for people, birds, fish and other animals. They also improve our Coast’s beauty.

Last year, 1,900 volunteers picked up 32,000 pounds of trash. Wow. That’s a lot of trash. How did it all get there?

If you’d like to help this year, you can choose from 50 cleanup sites in three coastal counties. You’re sure to find one near you or near one of your favorite places. The zone captains have been attending training sessions this week to prepare for the event.

The event will begin at 8 a.m. and end at 11. I’d recommend getting there early. I’m a late sleeper on Saturdays. In the past, when I’ve arrived at a site closer to 11 a.m. than 8 a.m., the other volunteers had already cleaned up everything.    

Volunteers at the 2006 Coastal Cleanup meet along Front Beach in Ocean Springs not far from the temporary building serving as the Ocean Springs Yacht Club.
Volunteers at the 2006 Coastal Cleanup meet along Front Beach in Ocean Springs not far from the temporary building serving as the Ocean Springs Yacht Club.

If  you volunteer this year, you should bring the following:

  • Hat
  • Closed-toe shoes
  • Water
  • Sunscreen
  • Gloves and
  • Insect repellent

This photo on Front Beach in Ocean Springs shows what remained of the Biloxi-Ocean Springs drawbridge in 2006 during the Mississippi Coastal Cleanup.
This photo on Front Beach in Ocean Springs shows what remained of the Biloxi-Ocean Springs drawbridge in 2006 during the Mississippi Coastal Cleanup.

This year after the cleanup, lunch will be provided at a site in each county. Volunteers can also register to win a kayak (one each in Harrison and Hancock counties) or a paddleboard (one in Jackson County), according to our ecology extension specialist Eric Sparks, who is a project co-coordinator for the program, which is organized by Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Marine Debris Task Force.

Volunteers on Front Beach in Ocean Springs had  more sand to scour for trash in 2006 during the Mississippi Coastal Cleanup.
Volunteers on Front Beach in Ocean Springs had more sand to scour for trash in 2006 during the Mississippi Coastal Cleanup.

To  find out all the details or sign up for the cleanup, visit the Mississippi Coastal Cleanup website. You can also get the latest up-to-date news on the Mississippi Coastal Cleanup Facebook page.

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