The 81st Civil Engineering squadron at Keesler did double duty on the beach Friday.
About one hundred members of the squadron combined their daily physical fitness training with a beach clean up project. The group has "adopted" the section of sand beach between White Avenue and Iberville Drive.
Sunrise over Deer Island shined light on a beach front invasion. Members of the 81st Civil Engineering Squadron marched through the sand armed with trash bags.
It's daily PT, physical training, with an emphasis on environment.
"Well, we've been looking around and making sure paper or any other kind of trash is picked up," said one airman as he picked up a wrapper.
John Wahoski says the double duty mission is a good idea. Hiking the beach is a good workout, while picking up litter benefits the community.
"I was surprised. There was a lot of gum wrappers and McDonalds wrappers. Just a whole bunch of different things," said Wahoski.
Things like a dead horseshoe crab.
"Are you gonna put that in this bag for real?," said one crew member as his friend picked up the dead crab.
Some members of the clean up crew are surprised at the lack of litter on the sand. They expected to find more. But the early morning hike is still good exercise.
Cardell Ellis didn't expect to enjoy the clean up as much.
"Actually it's a very beautiful day and I have enjoyed it. Coming into it I was kind of like, oh my God, it's cold outside, we're going to the beach, we're going to pick up trash. But this has been a very, very beneficial experience," he said.
It's early, it's cold, but there are few complaints from the troops. Sand beach scenery beats an office environment any day.
"Oh that's beautiful! That is beautiful," said a pair of crew members as they watched a flock of seagulls take flight.
"I see everybody has a good time. There's beautiful scenery, beautiful weather. And so far nobody is complaining. We're having a good time," said Dorthea Barker.
It's a good time getting fit and leaving the beach a little cleaner.
As we mentioned, the 81st Civil Engineer squadron has "adopted" the section of beach between White Avenue and Iberville Drive. The City of Biloxi invites any civic group to adopt a portion of beach or a street. Simply E-mail the city at email@example.com