Children learn to treat environment responsibly - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Children learn to treat environment responsibly

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

By Danielle Thomas – bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - As the Mississippi Gulf Coast waits to see which way the oil spill will head next, most of us can do little more than hope for the best. However, the Coastal Conservation Association says there are still steps we can take to keep our waters healthy. On Saturday, the group took its message to the children.

At 10 years old, Anissa Swinley already knows a lot about fishing. She says her father taught her people should cast lines into the water but not their trash.

"The water would be real nasty," said Swinley. "Nobody won't get to fish no more or go swimming because it would be like dirty."

Families at the Casting For Conservation Kids Fishing Rodeo in Gulfport not only learned how to catch a fish but also about the different types of fish and the dangers of over fishing.

"There's so many anglers out there," said Executive Director Rome Emmons. "There's so many people fishing that we're going to have to conserve, too, so our kids and grandkids will have a place to fish. Do what's right for the resources and hope that we don't have the effect of the oil come in on here."

With the Gulf oil all over the news, some parents say their little ones are starting to ask questions. Kevin Lott has two daughters, Lacy and Haley.

"They ask me about like what is it going to do to the animals in the water, about the fish and fishing because they love the fish," Lott said. "I just tell them it might come and it might mess the fishing up for a little while, but they say it's going to get cleaned up."

"They know as much as we know as far as watching television and seeing what's happening and going from there," said Carl Washington, another parent. "The thought is always, 'Are we going to have oil on our beach?' I would hope that we could do all that we could do to keep the oil off the beach and to be able to have this place as an area that we will always have for conservation."

Parents say fishing is a good way for families to spend time together, and they don't want to lose that even for a little while.

Organizers are planning another Casting For Conservation kids fishing rodeo in Biloxi in July. May's event in Bay St. Louis was canceled because of the oil spill.

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