Clean up plan aims to restore Bayou Auguste

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - By Elizabeth Vowell – email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - When you're strolling in a park, the last thing you probably want to see is a tire stuck in the mud. That's why the Gulf Coast Community Design Studio is organizing to restore Bayou Auguste.

"This clean up is a part of what we hope will be a multiyear effort to restore the Auguste Bayou to pristine natural condition that both the residents in this East Biloxi neighborhood and the wildlife can enjoy," said Stephen Crim of Gulf Coast Community Design Studio.

The first step is getting volunteers to pick up litter. The design studio has won several grants they hope to use to also expand the park and protect the wetlands.

"I think people have been talking about wetlands a lot since Katrina. People are more aware of how important they are for things like storm water management and storm safety," said Crim.

For the studio, picking up trash isn't just about beautification. Although the area is residential, it's shared with wildlife that could be harmed by trash.

"It's all about keeping the water clean and managing the waters," said Crim.

Saturday, volunteers came from all over to remove trash from the water and mud. Some even found a shopping cart and old doors.

"I think success comes in the number of trash bags that you'll see back there in that truck. It's just a start," explained Crim. "I think that will make the residents around here appreciate this area a little more."

After the cleanup, the group will also start on some green work to help restore some natural plants.

The design studio is working in partnership with other organizations including the Biloxi Housing Authority, the City of Biloxi and local schools. They are also looking for more residents to get involved in their next project.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.