SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Coastal communities from one end of the state to the other got together Saturday morning to pick up trash. It was the 26th annual Mississippi Coastal Cleanup, and hundreds got involved in over 60 locations across the Coast.
One of the stations with the most volunteers was on Biloxi Beach by the lighthouse. People came from around the community to pitch in.
Individuals and groups were combing the sand for any trash they could find. One of the groups helping out was the Biloxi Junior High Builders Club.
"If they don't get out here and clean up, who will," said Amanda Conine.
This is Conine's first year as the club's sponsor. She wanted to use this opportunity to give her students a closer look at the community in which they live.
"We were talking about how when you drive by it's so beautiful, but when you take an up close look, it's not as pretty as you think," said Conine.
Seventh grader Andrew Dando really enjoyed being able to make a difference in his home on a beach he passes every day.
"We're just making sure it's clean and beautiful. Making it beautiful like it should be," said Andrew.
The students not only learned about keeping the environment clean, but also about what can be accomplished when people come together as a community. That's something that Dorothy Williams hoped to teach her kids.
"If everyone picks up just a little, then it's really going to add up to a lot, and it's really going to make a difference," said Williams.
She wanted her children to understand that picking up even a cigarette butt or two helps preserve the beauty of the Gulf Coast.
"We love the beaches, and we want to keep them clean so we can keep enjoying them," said Williams.
Each station set up across the Coast provided supplies like garbage pickers and trash bags. Williams' 6-year-old son, Connor, had his own methods.
"We have to clean up the beach from litter. We don't want the beach getting dirty," said Connor, while digging through the sand on his hands and knees.
The lesson he learned from the experience will likely be one that sticks with him for life.
The effort is part of an International Coastal Cleanup with the Ocean Conservancy. Sponsors for the cleanup included Chevron, Mississippi Power and the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources.