One couple's fight to protect the Pascagoula River - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

One couple's fight to protect the Pascagoula River

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

By David Elliott – bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Kathy and Jeff Wilkinson know and love the Pascagoula River. The couple is the driving force behind Coastal River, a non-profit set up to fight litter in the Pascagoula River Basin.

They organize cleanup efforts and educate people about the importance of a clean environment.

"Like roadside litter, picking it up in the water is a last resort. We have to raise a generation of people who know littering is not acceptable" Jeff Wilkinson said as he piloted his boat out on to the Pascagoula River.

Kathy Wilkinson uses a specially designed device to reach into the marsh and pick up cans, bottles and other litter.

The Wilkinsons also conduct eco-tours of the river and its connecting waterways. The oil spill in the Gulf appears to be taking a toll on eco-tourism.

"The phone just isn't ringing. People must be concerned. They think water activities are shut down," Kathy Wilkinson said.

The Wilkinsons are concerned about the possibility of oil penetrating the river, bays and bayous.

"Now it's just litter. If the oil comes in, all the stuff we could just throw away becomes hazardous waste."

Jeff and Kathy are looking for volunteers. Their telephone number is (228) 297-TOUR (8687).

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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