Volunteers help to make Turkey Creek a cleaner place

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Walking through the woods towards Turkey Creek, the view is peaceful and serene, but Mother Nature's beauty soon gives way to man-made ugliness. The pile of garbage catches the volunteers by surprise. Amy Carlson is one of them.

"Seeing the amount of debris that is caught in this area, I mean, it's just amazing how much trash, just all sorts of trash," Carlson said.

That trash includes propane tanks, prescription bottles and even soccer balls. Working from a boat, the clean-up begins.

Mississippi Power workers have been cleaning up the Coast for years for one simple reason, according to company spokesman Jeff Shepard.

"Our employees don't just live and work here. We play here as well. We like to have fun. We recreate on these waters. We fish and boat. You can get out with your families and spend a lot of time. We hate to see an area of pollution build up like this," Shepard explained.

What makes this cleanup on Turkey Creek different than most, all of the pollution here, all of the garbage, all of the trash did not originate here. It actually floated here.

Judy Steckler is with the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain.

"We always think one little piece isn't going to hurt, but this is a good example of how it accumulates and gets into our water sources. If this had not been trapped here, it would have ended up in the Gulf of Mexico," Steckler said.

Because of today's effort, that won't be a problem anytime soon.

More than 50 volunteers from the power company helped out in today's cleanup effort, which also included the shores of the Back Bay in Biloxi.

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