Marker Madness to Help Protect Coast Waterways

If you live in Gulfport, you may have seen some boy scouts working on your storm drains.

That's because these scouts are helping out with Marker Madness, a coastwide storm drain marking program sponsored by the Department of Marine Resources.

Boy Scout troop 209 set out on a mission Saturday morning.

"This particular project that we're doing, we're marking the storm drains so that the residents will know not to pour oil and other contaminants into the drains," said John Touart, Asst. Scout Master of  Troop 209.

What goes into South Mississippi's storm drains evenutally ends up in the Mississippi Sound, and this can be bad for the environment as well as South Mississippi's tourism industry.

"You have all of the fish out there, all of the marine mammals out there, all that life out there affected by what goes in that gulf," said KimSavant, Gulfport Mayor Pro Tem. "We're one of the biggest tourism tourism areas in the country. We have 27 million visitors a year. One of the things we want to make sure we have for them is a nice beach and clean water out there."

This service project is not only helping to protect the environment and South Mississipppi's tourism industry, it's also saving taxpayer dollars.

"The city is under a mandate from the EPA. It's a storm water Phase II program. All the cities and the three counties on the coast are responsible for doing this program. As part of this program we have to educate the public," said Margie Dean, City of Gulfport Project Engineer, "...and we have to make sure we're not polluting our storm water."

The DMR stickers are sure to get this message across.