BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Trash bags were filled on Biloxi's beach Wednesday morning as volunteers with Mississippi Coastal Cleanup combed the area searching for litter.
Mississippi State University partnered with Harrison County and several local sponsors for the first ever July 5 morning after event.
MSU collected data from the cleanup effort by asking volunteers to document what they found as they cleaned. The information will be used by the university to continue research on ways to keep our environment as clean as possible.
"We welcome the tourists, we welcome them to come down with their families and enjoy our beautiful beaches. The only thing that we ask is that they pick up and clean up when they leave," said Kelly Griffin, the Harrison County Beautification Commission director.
When beach visitors don't pick up after themselves, there's always a bit of a mess left behind. Elizabeth Englebretson and her colleagues understand the multiple layers of importance in cleaning the beaches.
"Our economy is dependent on tourism. We're also dependent on the fishing and shrimping industry. Without clean water, where are we," said Englebretson.
Englebretson is encouraged by the turnout for this volunteer event.
"We like to see a community taking a stake in their environment and keeping their community safe and healthy," she said.
Ryan Joachim and his coworkers are part of the community. That's why they took a few hours away from work to do their part.
"I want to get out there and see if we can help our community pick up. Do what we can to make it a little better," said Joachim.
Elena Benezue brought her family out to cleanup together. In the process, she hoped to teach them a valuable lesson.
"I want them to grow up and do something good and affect people in a good way," said Benezue.
The next annual coastal cleanup will be held in October.