DEER ISLAND, MS (WLOX) - More than 100 volunteers from several Biloxi casinos spent this Earth Day cleaning up Deer Island. The island cleanup event was also the kickoff to Mississippi Power Company's annual Renew Our Rivers program.
They hit the island early, armed with trash bags and energy. Employees from Beau Rivage, Hard Rock, Harrah's and Golden Nugget volunteered to help clean up what is essentially their backyard.
"We've always wanted to do something for Earth Day, and this was our first year with a casino that did something. So, we wanted to join in," said Hard Rock employee Catherine Miranda.
She made it a mother daughter day, joined by her 14-year-old daughter, Serena.
"I thought that it would be a lot of fun to help clean this up, because it's been awhile since we moved here, and I thought since it's so pretty here, we should keep it that way," said Serena.
After picking up cans, bottles and assorted litter left behind, it's easy to conclude: Some people are pigs.
"I think people can be disgusting. You see it not just out here on the island. You see it all around our streets, you know. People are, just throw their trash anywhere," said Hard Rock employee Tarzan Treadway.
Sean Morrison is an attorney for the DMR. Spending the morning on the island was an eye opener.
"This is one of our natural preserves. It's a state park and is for everyone here. We really just need to keep it clean and preferably, preferably prevent it from getting a mess in the first place," said Morrison, as he put more litter in his large plastic bag.
This marks the sixth year for the island cleanup. Mississippi Power's Renew Our Rivers program is beginning its 10th year.
Since its inception, nearly 300 tons of litter have been removed from area islands and waterways.
"All of our employees, this is their home. This is where we want to raise our children, and we, quite frankly, want to leave it for the next generation and the generation after that, better than we found it," said Johnny Atherton, with Mississippi Power.
Since its launch six years ago, the Deer Island cleanup event has removed more than 14 tons of litter and debris from the near shore island.