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Mississippi Coastal Cleanup Day Nets 956 Bags of Trash

 

Despite heavy rains that persisted throughout the morning, more than 1,270 volunteers donned slickers, rain ponchos and even trash bags, to clean Mississippi's beaches and waterways picking up marine litter at 50 designated cleanup sites Oct. 19 during the 25th annual Mississippi Coastal Cleanup, part of the International Coastal Cleanup—the world's largest volunteer effort to clean up the marine environment. During the 2013 Mississippi Coastal Cleanup, 1,277 volunteers picked up 956 bags of trash, including 119 bags of recyclables, such as cans and plastic, and 75 tires along 99 miles of Coastal waterways in Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties, totaling 15,465 pounds— that's 7.7 tons of marine litter. The cleanup is organized by the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources and Mississippi Marine Debris Task Force. The Mississippi Coastal Cleanup recycling effort continues to grow with volunteers collecting recyclables at 17 sites this year.

The Mississippi Coastal Cleanup continues its partnership with Mississippi Power's Renew Our Rivers program, who cleaned three coastal sites on the days leading up to Saturday's cleanup removing 8.7 tons of large unbaggable debris.
Both cleanup efforts combined resulted in 1,469 volunteers collecting 32,865 pounds of trash. This included items too large to fit in trash bags such as household appliances. Other items found were: a recliner, a large TV, a .22 caliber bullet, a 1-foot by 4-foot broken mirror, a live opossum, a dead baby great blue heron, a refrigerator drawer, two basketballs, a plastic hammer, six-pack holders and beer cans and at Three Rivers Park in Gulfport—even the kitchen sink.

During the International Coastal Cleanup, hundreds of thousands of people across the world spend three hours combing the beaches and waterways to pick up trash that pollutes our waters, harms marine life, hampers tourism and poses health risks to beach-goers. During last year's International Coastal Cleanup, more than 500,000 volunteers worldwide removed more than 10 million pounds of debris from the ocean, rivers, lakes and waterways.

"The purpose of the Mississippi Coastal Cleanup is to educate people on the importance of keeping our communities and waterways clean to help protect wildlife from litter that can choke animals or damage habitats," said Lauren Thompson, state coordinator for the Mississippi Coastal Cleanup and public relations manager for the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources.

The mission of the International Coastal Cleanup is to remove debris from shorelines, bayous, bays, rivers, waterways and beaches; collect valuable information on the amount and types of debris collected; educate people on the issue of Marine debris; and use the data collected to effect positive change. Volunteers clean beaches and collect information on what they find, using the International Coastal Cleanup Data Card, so that sources of marine debris can be targeted for education or pollution prevention campaigns. State coordinators enter that information into Ocean Conservancy's online database and that information is tabulated and a report of the results is distributed worldwide. Over the years, data from the cleanups has been used to enact local, state, national, and even international legislation and agreements.

After the Mississippi Coastal Cleanup, the Rotary clubs of Gulfport, Orange Grove and Long Beach and RPM/Domino's Pizza treated 100 volunteers to pizza from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Jones Park in Gulfport. Chiquita Fresh LLC, Coast Coca-Cola Bottling Co. and Academy Sports & Outdoors also provided food and drink for the event.

In Jackson County, 400 volunteers received a free barbecue lunch of pulled pork and beef brisket and chips at the Estuarine Education Center at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Gautier courtesy of The Shed Barbeque & Blues Joint. Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Consolidated provided bottled water for the lunch.

In Hancock County, the Office of Congressman Steven Palazzo and the Bay St. Louis Rotary Club treated volunteers to hotdogs at a cookout held at the Washington St. Pavilion on the beach in Bay St. Louis.

Volunteers, who cleaned the beach and filled out data cards, documenting what litters our shores and waterways, also received 25th Anniversary Coastal Cleanup Croakies, compliments of Chevron Pascagoula Refinery.

"I was blown away by the number of volunteers who came out to clean regardless of the weather. The community's commitment to this event and our environment is strong and I am grateful for the tremendous support that the Department of Marine Resources receives from our sponsors, volunteers and our partners with the Mississippi Marine Debris Task Force. They made the 25th anniversary of the Mississippi Coastal Cleanup an event to remember," Thompson said.

The Mississippi Coastal Cleanup's planning committee, the Mississippi Marine Debris Task Force, is made up of representatives from BP; Chevron Pascagoula Refinery; City of Biloxi; City of Gautier; City of Gulfport; City of Moss Point; City of Ocean Springs; City of Pascagoula; Coastal Conservation Association of Mississippi; Coastal Rivers; Delbert Hosemann Secretary of State; D'Iberville Volunteers Foundation; DMR Marine Patrol; Eco-Tours of South Mississippi; Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve; Gulf Environmental Associates; Gulf Islands National Seashore; Hancock County Beautification Committee; Hancock County Board of Supervisors; Hancock County Chamber of Commerce; Hancock County Solid Waste; Hands On Mississippi; Harrison County Beautification Commission; Harrison County Board of Supervisors; Harrison County Sand Beach Department; Harrison County Utility Authority; Heritage Trails Partnership; Ingalls Shipbuilding; Jackson County Board of Supervisors; Jackson County Chamber of Commerce; Jackson County Solid Waste Department; Keep Mississippi Beautiful; Keesler Air Force Base; Mississippi Air National Guard CRTC-Gulfport; Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium; Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality; Mississippi Department of Marine Resources; Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College; Mississippi Power; Mississippi State University Coastal Research & Extension Center; Naval Construction Battalion Center; Office of Congressman Steven Palazzo; Pascagoula Elks 1120; Rotary International District 6840; Sea Coast Echo; United Way of South Mississippi Volunteer Gulf Coast; and University of Southern Mississippi-Gulf Coast Research Laboratory.

Other sponsors include:
SEA TURTLE: Chevron Pascagoula Refinery; Matthews Brothers Inc.; Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality; Mississippi Department of Marine Resources; Mississippi Power; The Shed Barbeque and Blues Joint; The Bait Box
SHARK: Cable One Advertising; Delta Sanitation, A Waste-Pro Company; Lamar Outdoor Advertising-Mississippi Gulf Coast; L&L Broadcasting LLC; Ocean Conservancy; Parents&Kids Magazine; The Sun Herald; Waste Management
DOLPHIN: Allen Beverages Inc.; Coast Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Inc.; Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Consolidated; Fisher Safety; Mississippi Beverage Association; RPM/Domino's Pizza; Ship Island Excursions
COBIA: Biloxi-D'Iberville Press; Chiquita Fresh LLC; Conrad Yelvington Distributors, Inc.; K99FM, Magic 93.7, 92.5 The Beat and News Radio 104.9; Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Professional Division; Knight-Abbey Printing and Direct Mail; Ocean Springs Gazette; Sea Coast Echo; WLOX-TV 13
MULLET: Academy Sports & Outdoors; Keep Mississippi Beautiful; Mississippi Department of Transportation

The preliminary cleanup site statistics for Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson counties are as follows:
Hancock County: 11 sites, 123 volunteers collected 118 bags of trash
• McLeod State Park 10 volunteers, rained out
• 19th Street/Old Lazy River Road 2 volunteers and 1 bags
• Bayou LaCroix/603/Lagan/Central/Riverview/The Cave 5 volunteers and 3 bags
• Beach Boulevard across from Bay Waveland Yacht Club 5 volunteers and 3 bags
• Beach Boulevard: Our Lady of Gulf 5 volunteers and 7 bags
• Beach Boulevard: Bookter to Bay Oaks 20 volunteers and 15 bags
• Jordan River Shores and Bayou Talla 2 volunteers and 1 bag
• Beach Boulevard: Nicholson Avenue to Vacation Lane 2 volunteers and 6 bags
• Beach Boulevard: Bay Oaks Drive to Nicholson Avenue 25 volunteers and 19 bags
• Beach Boulevard: Buccaneer State Park 5 volunteers and 13 bags
• Depot District 1 volunteers and 1 bags
• Beach Boulevard: Pointset to mouth of Bayou Caddy 41 volunteers and 50 bags

Harrison County: 17 sites, 466 volunteers collected 288 bags of trash
• Deer Island and Biloxi Small Craft Harbor 26 volunteers and 6 bags
• Edgewater Mall 20 volunteers and 9 bags
• Forrest Avenue Pier 8 volunteers and 6 bags
• Hiller Park 11 volunteers and 6 bags
• Popp's Ferry Causeway 14 volunteers and 5 bags
• Porter Avenue/Lighthouse 34 volunteers and 15 bags
• Coast Coliseum Beach Comfort Station 4 volunteers and 2 bags
• D'Iberville Boat Launch 56 volunteers and 31 bags
• Lower Tuxachanie Creek 5 volunteers and 5 bags
• Courthouse Road 131 volunteers and 63 bags
• James Hill Park 6 volunteers and 2 bags
• Kremer Landing 3 volunteers and 2 bags
• Jones Park East 60 volunteers and 45 bags
• Long Beach Harbor/Pavilion 40 volunteers and 36 bags
• Pass Christian Harbor/Highway 90 28 volunteers and 16 bags
• Keegan Bayou 11 volunteers and 15 bags
• Three Rivers Park 9 volunteers and 24 bags

Jackson County: 22 sites, 688 volunteers collected 550 bags of trash
• Jackson County - Bluff Creek 17 volunteers and 11 bags
• Jackson County - Grand Bay NERR 3 volunteers and 3 bags
• Ocean Springs - Fort Bayou Boat Launch & Waterway 11 volunteers and 5 bags
• Ocean Springs - Gulf Park Estates Public Pier 129 volunteers and 67 bags
• Ocean Springs - East Beach 38 volunteers and 11 bags
• Ocean Springs - Front Beach Ocean Springs Yacht Club 129 volunteers and 61 bags
• Ocean Springs - Front Beach Harbor End 49 volunteers and 20 bags
• Ocean Springs - Graveline Bayou Beach Front 12 volunteers and 13 bags
• Ocean Springs - Fort Maurepas/Beach Front 29 volunteers and 11 bags
• Gautier - Gautier City Park 18 volunteers and 4 bags
• Gautier - Graveline Road/Shepard State Park 10 volunteers and 7 bags
• Gautier – Mary Walker waterways 2 volunteers and 3 bags
• Gautier – West Pascagoula River Bridge 29 volunteers and 13 bags
• Moss Point - I-10 Boat Launch 20 volunteers and 115 bags
• Moss Point - Hwy 63 Boat Launch 12 volunteers and 8 bags
• Moss Point - River Front 26 volunteers and 22 bags
• Pascagoula - Old Spanish Fort 1 volunteers and 1 bag
• Pascagoula - I.G. Levy Park, N. 26 volunteers and 12 bags
• Pascagoula - Pascagoula Causeway & River Park 12 volunteers and 12 bags
• Pascagoula - Beach Park & Front 87 volunteers and 102 bags
• Pascagoula River Park 17 volunteers and 27 bags
• Lower Pascagoula River islands 11 volunteers and 22 bags

In addition, the 50 total cleanup sites had 100 volunteers who served as zone captains for each site.

RENEW OUR RIVERS CLEANUP SITES

Gulfport: 1 site; 50 volunteers collected 4.5 tons of trash
• Gulfport Lake/Industrial Seaway; cleaned Oct. 2

Pascagoula: 1 site; 80 volunteers collected 2.5 tons of trash
• Pascagoula River; cleaned Oct. 3

Picayune: 1 site; 62 volunteers collected 1.7 tons of trash
• Boley Creek; cleaned Oct. 12


PHOTO CAPTIONS:

PHOTOS COURTESY OF MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF MARINE RESOURCES

Photo A: Howard Waugh, right, documents debris and trash collected by his children, Savannah and Paxton, on the beach near Edgewater Mall in Biloxi during a rain-abbreviated 25th annual Mississippi Coastal Cleanup held Saturday, Oct. 19, in conjunction with the International Coastal Cleanup, the world's largest volunteer cleanup effort on behalf of the marine environment. (Department of Marine Resources photo by Drew Tarter)

Photo B: A boatload of soggy volunteers returns to the Biloxi small craft harbor from collecting trash on Deer Island during a rain-abbreviated 25th annual Mississippi Coastal Cleanup day held Saturday, Oct. 19. The event was held in conjunction with the International Coastal Cleanup, the world's largest volunteer cleanup effort on behalf of the marine environment. (Department of Marine Resources photo by Drew Tarter)

Photo C: A volunteer did not let the rain deter her from removing trash along a roadway near the beach in Hancock County during the 25th annual Mississippi Coastal Cleanup held Saturday, Oct. 19, in conjunction with the International Coastal Cleanup, the world's largest volunteer cleanup effort on behalf of the marine environment. (Department of Marine Resources photo by Sarah Underwood)

Photo D: A group of volunteers in Hancock County display what they collected during the 25th annual Mississippi Coastal Cleanup held Saturday, Oct. 19. The event was held in conjunction with the International Coastal Cleanup, the world's largest volunteer cleanup effort on behalf of the marine environment. (Department of Marine Resources photo by Sarah Underwood)

Photo E: The rain did not keep these volunteers from cleaning up at Pascagoula River Park during the 25th annual Mississippi Coastal Cleanup held Saturday, Oct. 19. More than 1,260 volunteers participated in the one day event held in conjunction with the International Coastal Cleanup.

Photo F: Volunteers pick up trash in the marsh at Gulf Park Estates Public Pier in Ocean Springs during the 25th annual Mississippi Coastal Cleanup day held Saturday, Oct. 19. The event was held in conjunction with the International Coastal Cleanup, the world's largest volunteer cleanup effort on behalf of the marine environment.


Mississippi Coastal Cleanup 2013 Results At A Glance
(Hancock, Harrison and, Jackson counties)

1. Number of volunteers: 1,277

2. Weight of debris collected (lbs.): 15,465

3. Distance cleaned (mi): 99

4. Number of sites cleaned: 50

5. Number of sites collecting recyclables: 17

6. Number of trash bags filled: 956
(includes 119 bags of recyclables)

7. Number of tires: 75

8. Bird and animal entanglements: 0

9. Fun, odd and interesting items collected during the cleanup:
A recliner, a large TV, a .22 caliber bullet, a 1-foot by 4-foot broken mirror, a live opossum, a dead baby great blue heron, a refrigerator drawer, two basketballs, a plastic hammer, six-pack holders and beer cans and even the kitchen sink

10. Renew Our Rivers portion of cleanup (held Oct. 2, 3 and 12): 192 volunteers using heavy equipment collected 17,400 pounds of large debris at 3 sites along 35 miles of Mississippi's waterways & shoreline

 

*Updated 2018*

FOR MORE INFORMATION GO TO:   www.mscoastalcleanup.org

 

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