Volunteers help Mississippi Power clean the Pascagoula River

Volunteers combed the Pascagoula River picking up debris.
Volunteers combed the Pascagoula River picking up debris.

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A rusty washing machine, chunks of Styrofoam and worn out tires. That was among the debris pulled from the Pascagoula River Thursday, during Mississippi Power Company's "Renew Our Rivers" clean-up.

Boats loaded with bags of debris returned to Little River Marina to unload. Heavy equipment awaited to haul the mess to a nearby industrial size dumpster

"Cleaning up the community. Getting out here just having a fun day and picking up garbage and things that's been left here from Katrina, from Hurricane Isaac and things like that. We can get out here and enjoy the day and just pick up the trash. And have a good spot to haul it off," said Ben Pynes, who works for Mississippi Power and was happy to help with the clean-up.

Unfortunately, the river known for its scenic beauty, also has much garbage littering its marshes and river banks.

Many of the volunteers have personal connections with the Pascagoula River.

"Because I fish here all the time and it's our local water. It's a good thing. It needs to be cleaned up. And this is a good thing the company lets us do, come participate in this and keep our backyard clean," said Shannon Trussell.

While there is still storm-related debris littering the river, much of the mess is from people being irresponsible.

"If the general public would get involved and take an interest in keeping our coastal waters clean, and pick up behind themselves when they're going out on the river, it could really make a difference," said Terry Jackson, with Jackson County EMA.

Although they picked up plenty of bottles and cans and small litter from the river, plenty of large things were also brought ashore, like refrigerator freezers, tires, barrels and old TV's.

"We realize it's a very popular program with our workers and with the communities we serve. And so we're really happy to see it continue," said Mississippi Power spokesman, Jeff Shepard.

The "Renew Our Rivers" campaign has picked-up 250 tons of debris from area waterways over the past seven years.

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.