A group of fourth graders made a clean sweep along front beach in Ocean Springs Wednesday. They spent the morning picking up litter. It's part of a lesson about the environment, and the students found a little bit of everything.
"I found an icky, yucky thing," shrieked one youngster as he helped comb the beach.
They hit the shoreline with plastic bags in tow and inventory check lists in hand. Their mission: find and remove any and all litter. Finding trash targets was easy enough.
"It's helping out the community. So we don't have a bad community when we grow up and our kids won't have stuff that's all trashy and stuff like that," Logan Ziorlott said.
These beachcombers found all kinds of litter. Some things they weren't expecting.
"Oh, it's a baby diaper! Oh, oh, oh, that's gross! I found a baby diaper!," screamed one young lady.
"I think they were all really surprised at how much they really found because we've already had discussions, and they're all really shocked about everything they found along the beach today," fourth-grade teacher Linda McKay said.
The students understand that trash does more than destroy a pretty view. Some litter can be harmful. Removing plastic rings or glass bottles eliminates a safety hazard.
"So that people don't get hurt. And care about your animals so they won't get hurt," one student, Whitney Duffy, said.
They filled several large trash bags in no time at all. This hands on environmental lesson gives the kids a close-up look at what careless visitors leave behind.
"Cigarette butts, straws, baby diapers. Bottles and cans," said one youngster who described what filled the bags.
The fourth grade clean up crews did their part to improve the environment. They're now counting on beach goers to find the trash cans and not leave behind such a mess.