SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Appearance matters in any community. But, it is especially important in a tourist destination like the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Work crews mowing the medians along busy Highway 90, and Harrison County sand beach crews can be seen on just about any summer day.
"We've got to have our community be cut and landscaped, it's the front door. We've got to tell people 'You're welcome here,' and they feel comfortable here," said Adele Lyons, executive director for the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce.
The tourism industry employs thousands and helps drive the Coast economy. Appearance is something leaders say everyone should be mindful of in the area.
One big trouble spot when it comes to appearance is litter. It's the kind of mess Desiree Marquez sees most every day.
"We are cleaning up litter and trash and we are killing weeds," said Marquez, who works on a clean-up crew for D'Iberville public works. "We want our city to look good. We are the gateway."
It's not just litter which mars the gateway to the Gulf Coast. Weeds the size of small bushes push up from the concrete divider on the I-110. On I-10, weeds growing in the medians along the interstate are six-feet tall.
WLOX News Now reached out to MDOT, who says they mow along I-10 just three times a year.