Residents step in to clean Jackson Co. beaches

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Some South Mississippians said they aren't letting court cases or politics keep them from enjoying a clean beach. Volunteers showed up at Front Beach in Ocean Springs on Saturday. They said if the county can't clean the beach because of legal issues, they're more than happy to step in.

The volunteers said the people of Ocean Springs take a lot of pride in their beaches and they want to keep it that way.

Ocean Springs resident  Scott Carroll said, "We come down here. We play. We bring our kids down here and we're just trying to clean our beaches up."

Volunteers showed up to clean front beach Saturday morning with rakes and wheel barrels in hand. They said they are stepping in because Jackson County will not be able to pick up until the Mississippi Supreme Court rules on whether the local government or private land owners own the beach. So volunteers collected the litter and hurricane debris. Some of it they burned and some of it they moved to the curb for the Ocean Springs city workers to pick up.

"The city will take from the sidewalk north and the county has from the sidewalk south," said Carroll. "But there is a political issue going on between the land owners and the county. We're not here dealing with that. We're here to clean our beaches. "

Bobbi Jo Beauguz came out to volunteer. "Kind of what we do down here on the Gulf Coast is when something can't get done and when there's red tape and people's hands get tied, we just put on our boots and our gloves and we get it done ourselves. We're not whiners. We just want to get whatever needs to be done, done."

The volunteers said it's not important to them who cleans the beach as long as it gets clean.

"I drive this beach probably three times a week," said Carroll. "Just driving down the beach looking at the water. Wishing I was there instead of going to work. We just enjoy it down here."

Many of the people cleaning up met on Saturday for the first time. The front beach cleanup was organized through a call to action on Facebook.

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