Work to restore Harrison Co. beaches continues - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Work to restore Harrison Co. beaches continues

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

By Jessica Bowman – email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Saturday Shoreline Cleanup and Assessment Teams and Harrison County officials met at the Ken Combs Pier in Gulfport to assess the jetties and figure out a plan to remove what oil residue remains.

Beach goers filled the shoreline at Ken Combs Pier not bothered by oil washing ashore.

Rupert Lacy said, "Looking at the totals that have come in, with tar balls, we're still averaging around 700 pounds that they're looking at as a pick up as they canvas the beaches and pick up material."

That's 700 pounds per day. According to Harrison County Emergency Management Director Rupert Lacy that number is down from previous weeks.

"We're seeing very small pieces. The size of your pinky some sizes may be quarter size, but it truly is weathered tar balls that we're seeing right now," said Lacy.

Work continues to get the 26 mile stretch of Harrison County coast line back to where they were before the oil spill. Lacy teamed up with SCAT team members and other county officials at the jetty next to the pier to continue the recovery process.

"We're actually going to physically go look at, we're probably going to take some samples, but what we're trying to look at is what's the best way that we can ensure the cleanup crews come down here and clean it up," said Lacy. He explained that, "Be it if they're going to have to polish rocks or if we're going to use high or low pressure water, what's going to be the best benefit for Harrison County."

Harrison County Sand Beach Director Bobby Weaver was also part of the analyzing team. He said he is working with assessment teams to determine, among other things, what spots need to be cleaned.

"To work out the protocol with the assessment team on where we're going to check the depths of the sand, how deep are we going to go down, how far from the shoreline in and are we going to go to make sure we cover the beach and address any particular oil impact that might have occurred," said Bobby Weaver.

Officials have not set a timeline for when the work will begin. No cleanup crews were spotted on the beach this afternoon. Lacy said that's because the teams were asked to work early morning hours on this holiday weekend so beach goers could enjoy the polished sand.

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