DMR surprised by lack of debris on Deer Island - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

DMR surprised by lack of debris on Deer Island

On Tuesday, the Fourth of July cleanup effort was on its third day on most of our beaches. But, there was an area of our coast that hadn't seen any cleaning until that morning - Deer Island. (Photo source: WLOX) On Tuesday, the Fourth of July cleanup effort was on its third day on most of our beaches. But, there was an area of our coast that hadn't seen any cleaning until that morning - Deer Island. (Photo source: WLOX)
"We expected it to be a lot worse than this, so we're very glad about that," said DMR Spokesperson Melissa Scallan. (Photo source: WLOX) "We expected it to be a lot worse than this, so we're very glad about that," said DMR Spokesperson Melissa Scallan. (Photo source: WLOX)
"I think people understand what a great asset this is and what a great resource it is for us and the want to keep it clean and looking nice," Scallan said. (Photo source: WLOX) "I think people understand what a great asset this is and what a great resource it is for us and the want to keep it clean and looking nice," Scallan said. (Photo source: WLOX)
Plans are in the works for a 170 foot pier at Deer Island and a public charter service to and from the mainland. (Photo source: WLOX) Plans are in the works for a 170 foot pier at Deer Island and a public charter service to and from the mainland. (Photo source: WLOX)
DEER ISLAND, MS (WLOX) -

On Tuesday, the Fourth of July cleanup effort was on its third day on most of our beaches. But, there was an area of our coast that hadn't seen any cleaning until that morning - Deer Island.

Employees of the Department of Marine Resources Coastal Preserves Bureau ventured onto the island for the first time since the holiday weekend. In years past, the DMR's post-fourth of July trip to Deer Island wasn't the easiest day at work for the cleanup crew.

"Sometimes you haven't been able to see the sand for the debris," said DMR Spokesperson Melissa Scallan.

So, when the crew members set out for their first look at the seven mile stretch of land after the holiday weekend, they were surprised by what they found.

"We expected it to be a lot worse than this, so we're very glad about that," said Scallan.

There have been times when the boat back would be filled with used fireworks, broken glass, and other items of trash. This time around, most of the trash in the island could fit into just a handful of bags. Scallan believes she knows the reason. The island has been receiving extra attention as of late because of the plan to make it more visitor friendly.

"I think people understand what a great asset this is and what a great resource it is for us and the want to keep it clean and looking nice," she said.

Which gives Scallan confidence that the efforts of the state to use tidelands funds for the access project will go to good use. The project includes plans for a 170 foot pier and a public charter service to and from the mainland.

"There are about to be a lot more people out here," said Scallan.

And she hopes that the public's effort to keep the natural resource as clean as possible continues.

"We want them to enjoy it, but we also want them to take care of it and to be good stewards of the things that we have on the coast that make us unique," she said.

According to Scallan, the access project should be completed by the end of the year.

Copyright 2015 WLOX. All rights reserved. 

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