Volunteers Help Clean And Restore D'Iberville Marsh

Volunteers helped unclog the wetlands around Fountain Pier in D'Iberville Friday morning.

Picking through the marsh grasses, they're finding plenty of storm debris.

"Absolutely everything you can think of," said the team leader.

Removing storm debris is more than aesthetics. Marshes serve a critical purpose in a coastal eco system.

Greg Crochet is a commissioner with the Mississippi Soil and Water Conservation District.

"These are our natural resources and we really need to take care of them. I think what people underestimate is how important these marshes are. These are actually the day care centers for all of our fishes," he explains.

Wetlands, for the most part, are self sustaining. But removing large debris gives the marsh a welcome boost in its restoration.

"Anywhere there's a piece of plastic or a piece of tin or heavy lumber that isn't going to decay quickly, it's not going to grow through that. So, if anybody gets out and removes that material, it's better for the eco system," said Ali Rupp with the Department of Marine Resources.

Most of the volunteers work for some environmental agency. The Mississippi Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils organized the effort.

"We're a conservation group. And we know the concerns down here. We know that most of the people that live down here have to face this every day. They have their own problems they have to deal with. And I think it's only right for the rest of us to pitch in and help," said team leader Martha Watts.

"It really uplifts you to do something for the community rather than doing something for yourself all the time," said volunteer Tyree Harrington.

The effort helps restore the scenic beauty and assists the natural process of storm recovery.