13-97-CWS | September 26, 2013
Volunteers in Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties are needed for the 25th annual Mississippi Coastal Cleanup to be held from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 19, in conjunction with the International Coastal Cleanup—the world’s largest volunteer cleanup effort on behalf of the marine environment. Gov. Phil Bryant has signed a proclamation in support of the annual event organized by the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR) and the Mississippi Marine Debris Task Force, which this year celebrates 25 years!
“Mississippi’s unique coastal environment plays an important role in tourism and in the Gulf Coast economy,” Gov. Phil Bryant said. “It is so important to keep our beaches and waterways clean, and I encourage Mississippians to help make this year’s Coastal Cleanup a success.”
MDMR Executive Director Jamie Miller said, “The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources is proud to take the lead in such an important event for the Coast. We appreciate the volunteers and coordinators who help us each year to make our home a cleaner place to live, work and visit. I am especially excited to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Coastal Cleanup and the people who have made this event possible over the years.”
Here’s how to register: 1) Register online at www.mscoastalcleanup.org, 2) Download the registration form from the website and fax it back, or 3) Call one of these numbers to request a form and sign up to volunteer: 467-9048 in Hancock County; 214-1405 in Harrison County; 217-5536 in Jackson County; and 230-4100 for the Barrier Islands. Although group and online registration ends Oct. 7, you can still register after that date by downloading the registration form at www.mscoastalcleanup.org and returning it.
“The Mississippi Coastal Cleanup has grown into a movement over the past 25 years, creating a lot of interest from community groups and educators wanting to take action year-round to reduce marine litter,” said Lauren Thompson, state coordinator for the International Coastal Cleanup and MDMR public relations manager. “If we have more volunteers join our movement we can make an even bigger difference.”
Andreas Merkl, president and CEO of Ocean Conservancy, lead organizer of the International Coastal Cleanup, said, “Ocean Conservancy would like to say to the volunteers: thank you, from our hearts. We’re proud to be partners with the Mississippi Coastal Cleanup, with their incredible effort and such hard work. And in the immediate future, we’re going to have to keep going out there, tongs in hand, to make sure Mississippi’s beaches and rivers remain healthy and beautiful. But Ocean Conservancy also wants to work with people on actually solving the problem once and for all—by finding ways to stop the trashing of our waters and land. It will not be easy, but we can get there together!”
The Mississippi Coastal Cleanup continues its partnership with Mississippi Power’s Renew Our Rivers program. Data collected during the October 2, 3 and 5 Renew Our Rivers cleanups will be added into the Mississippi Coastal Cleanup data sent to Ocean Conservancy as part of the International Coastal Cleanup.
On cleanup day, volunteers should report to their assigned cleanup site by 8 a.m. Zone captains will be stationed at each cleanup site in bright yellow T-shirts to answer volunteers’ questions and give them supplies such as trash bags, data cards to record the trash collected, bottled water compliments of the Beverage Association of Mississippi, and free 25th anniversary Coastal Cleanup Croakies provided by Chevron Pascagoula Refinery (while supplies last).
Following the cleanup, in Harrison County, volunteers must present their meal ticket at Jones Park in Gulfport in the big tent north of the boat launch, where they will enjoy a free lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. only on event day, courtesy of RPM/Domino’s Pizza and the Rotary clubs of Gulfport and Orange Grove. In Jackson County, lunch for volunteers will be held at the Estuarine Education Center at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Gautier between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. only the day of the event compliments of The Shed Barbeque & Blues Joint. Volunteers in Hancock County are invited for hotdogs and drinks at Washington St. Pavilion in Bay St. Louis after the cleanup, courtesy of the Office of Congressman Steven Palazzo and the Bay St. Louis Rotary Club.
During the 2012 International Coastal Cleanup, more than 550,000 volunteers worldwide removed more than 10 million pounds of debris from the ocean, rivers, lakes and waterways. In Mississippi, more than 2,500 volunteers pitched in and removed nearly 55,000 pounds of trash.
“There are uncontrollable events – like the Japan tsunami and Hurricane Katrina – that add to the problem of marine debris. That’s why it’s important to tackle what’s preventable,” Lauren Thompson, state coordinator for the Mississippi Coastal cleanup, said.
For more information visit the official Mississippi Coastal Cleanup Web site at www.mscoastalcleanup.org or call the info line at 1-877-BEACH 05 (1-877-232-2405). Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Volunteers who are Mississippi residents under age 21 must have their parents sign the registration form and fax or mail it back to participate. Non-Mississippi residents 18 and older are not required to have their parents sign the form.
Volunteers will pick up marine debris in all three counties and the barrier islands at 73 designated Coastal Cleanup sites, which include three Renew Our Rivers sites and some private sites (not listed below).
Designated cleanup areas are as follows:
• Diamondhead – Diamondhead Yacht Club through Rotten Bayou
• Kiln McLeod State Park; Jourdan River Shores and Bayou Talla
• Lakeshore — Beach Blvd. from Poinset to mouth of Bayou Cadet; Third Marsh Area, Lakeshore and Clermont Harbor
• Bay St. Louis — Bayou LaCroix/603/Lagan/Central/Riverview/The Cave; 19th St./Old Lazy River Road; Bay Marina Drive/Washington Street; Jourdan River Estates; Garden Isle Community; Mouth of Jourdan River to Dunbar; Beach Blvd. across street from Bay-Waveland Yacht Club; Beach Blvd. at Bookter; Beach Blvd. at Our Lady of the Gulf; Depot District
• Waveland — Beach Blvd. at Nicholson Avenue; Beach Blvd. at Vacation Lane; Beach Blvd. at Buccaneer State Park
• Biloxi — Biloxi Small Craft Harbor; Deer Island; Edgewater Mall (south of Hwy 90); Forrest Avenue Pier; Hiller Park; Keegan Bayou (military assigned); Popp’s Ferry Causeway; Porter Avenue (south of Lighthouse); Coast Coliseum at Beach Comfort Station
• D’Iberville — D’Iberville Boat Launch
• Gulfport — Beach–East of Jones Park; Courthouse Road (south of Hwy. 90); James Hill Park; Kremer Landing; Lower Turkey Creek; Three Rivers Park (off River Road)
• Long Beach — Long Beach Harbor/Pavilion
• Pass Christian — Pass Christian Harbor
Jackson County — Bluff Creek; Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (Bayou Heron)
• Gautier — Gautier City Park; Graveline Road/Shepard State Park; West Pascagoula River Bridge
• Moss Point — Bellview Street Boat Launch and Park; Hwy. 63 Boat Launch; I-10 Boat Launch; River Front
• Ocean Springs — East Beach; Fort Bayou Pier and Boat Launch; Fort Maurepas – Beachfront; Front Beach (Harbor End); Front Beach (Ocean Springs Yacht Club); Graveline Bayou Beachfront; Gulf Islands National Seashore (Davis Bayou); Gulf Park Estates Public Pier
• Pascagoula – Beach Park and Front; I.G. Levy Park, North; Old Spanish Fort; Pascagoula Causeway; River Park
Barrier Islands (requires boat) – Cat Island; East Ship Island; Horn Island; Petit Bois; Sand Island
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
PHOTO CAPTION: Kameron Bebin, 11, right, shows Jordyn Foster, 13, the hermit crab he found while the two members of the Keesler Air Force Base Youth Center clean the shoreline near Porter Avenue in Biloxi during last year’s Mississippi Coastal Cleanup. (Photo courtesy of Mississippi Department of Marine Resources)
FOR MORE INFORMATION GO TO: www.mscoastalcleanup.org