Gautier residents clean up polluted waterways

By Patrice Clark - bio | email

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - At first glance, the waterways in Gautier are beautiful. But take a ride to Pierre Bayou and you will see a big mess.

"We find an awful lot of whiskey bottles, shoes and snuff cans," cleanup volunteer Jeff Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson is part of Coastal River Organization, which aims to reduce the trash and debris in our rivers. He said people littering frustrates him because they harm marine life.

"We have all seen the pictures of fish and turtles entangled in fishing lines or plastic," Wilkinson said. "Beyond that, when this stuff breaks down, it looks like something to eat, and it can kill the fish and birds."

That's why he's sponsoring a marine litter pickup. Wilkinson said the more volunteers he can round up to clean up the debris, the faster it can be restored to a safer, cleaner environment.

"We're not only cleaning up for the birds and fish, but we clean it up for our own benefit, too. The amount we have seen, if just one person picking up, it is a long tough task," Wilkinson said.

Bill Bray signed up for the anti-litter team. He hopes their actions will encourage more residents to practice cleanliness in Gautier.

"If we keep this clean and picked up, then you're operating with a little guilt and you won't throw it out. You will keep it and dispose of it when you get home."

For more information about future litter cleanups, call (228) 217-8687

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