Deer Island volunteers remove trash and debris - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Deer Island volunteers remove trash and debris

More than 100 volunteers picked up litter and trash on Deer Island Friday. (Photo source: WLOX) More than 100 volunteers picked up litter and trash on Deer Island Friday. (Photo source: WLOX)
This is the kickoff of Mississippi Power Company's "Renew Our Rivers" environmental campaign. (Photo source: WLOX) This is the kickoff of Mississippi Power Company's "Renew Our Rivers" environmental campaign. (Photo source: WLOX)
Since the start of the program 12 years ago, volunteers have removed more than 340 tons of trash and debris. (Photo source: WLOX) Since the start of the program 12 years ago, volunteers have removed more than 340 tons of trash and debris. (Photo source: WLOX)
Volunteers found plenty of wood, large debris, and assorted trash. But there seemed to be far less plastic bottles, cans, and glass. (Photo source: WLOX) Volunteers found plenty of wood, large debris, and assorted trash. But there seemed to be far less plastic bottles, cans, and glass. (Photo source: WLOX)
DEER ISLAND, MS (WLOX) -

An army of volunteers removed tons of trash from Deer Island Friday morning. The annual island clean-up marks the start of Mississippi Power Company's long-running Renew Our Rivers campaign.

It is a near shore paradise, but one whose beauty is often marred by unsightly debris.

"It's plastic, it's not good," said volunteer, Jeff Schmermund, as he picked up some debris shortly after getting off the boat.

He and the other pickers have one simple mission.

"Clean the island. It's where we live. It needs to be cleaned, you know. Trash washes up. People throw trash out. Somebody's gotta pick it up. Decided today was my day," said the Golden Nugget employee.

Today was bring your sons to work day for the DMR's Karen Clark. She enlisted the help of her boys for this island adventure.

"It's beautiful out here. And to try and enjoy the beauty of the gulf coast and it be interrupted by garbage, it's really disappointing," said Karen Clark.

Her son, Brandon, had a suggestion.

"Not put trash out here in the first place," said the high school freshman.

Co-workers from the Grand Bay NERR were finding their share of trash, including something a little unusual.

"A frying pan," said Dennis McGrury.

"It's just a beautiful place to come and hang out with your family. Or any kind of recreation. Kayak, boating, just beach combing. It's really nice until you run into unsightly trash," he said.

The clean-up marks the first island visit for Alvin McMeans. He recently moved here from Birmingham and is anxious to get involved.

"I just wanted to give back to the community man, you know," said McMeans.

This marks the start of year 12 for Mississippi Power Company's Renew Our Rivers program.

"It's been a tremendous commitment. I think it's really the cornerstone of our environmental stewardship program. And in our first 11 years we've picked up about 340 tons of debris and trash," said Johnny Atherton, with Mississippi Power Company.

Long time volunteers of this clean-up say it is making a difference. They are seeing less trash as the years go on.

Beau Rivage, Hard Rock, Harrah's and Golden Nugget casinos provided most of the volunteers, along with Mississippi Power, Harrison County and the City of Biloxi.

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