Volunteers help cleanup Ocean Springs waterways and marsh - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Volunteers help cleanup Ocean Springs waterways and marsh

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

By Patrice Clark – bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Melissa Johnson, Jeff Wilkinson and Don Hansford are worried about the oil spill contaminating the coastal waters and marshlands. 

"It is going to somewhere. Wherever it comes, it is going to be a disaster," Johnson said.

Luckily, the oily mess has not spread to Jackson County's shore. The volunteer group wants the wetlands and waterways litter free if it does.

"With the threat of oil, it kind of redoubled our efforts," Wilkinson said. 

They cleaned around the Ocean Springs Harbor Thursday. Melissa used her kayak to pick up trash floating in the water. Jeff and Don went by boat to clean the marsh, which is a tough job. 

"It is grass and mud. If you remove it, you are going to remove the ecosystem," Johnson said. 

 The group bagged bleach bottles, dozens plastic cans, paper, and a few other strange items. 

"These items shouldn't be here," Johnson said. 

Jeff Wilkinson echoes her sentiment. He's picked up about 1,000 pounds of trash in Jackson County waters this month. 

"It is disheartening," Wilkinson said.

During Thursday's clean up, the group collected two bags of trash.  Volunteers say it's so important to get more people to clean up litter because oil and litter just don't mix. 

"The litter becomes hazard waste when it is covered in oil." 

The volunteers say any hazardous waste spells danger for the environment and wildlife.  Knowing that makes the volunteers want to continue picking up, cleaning up, and praying that the oil won't mess up the Mississippi coast.  

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