Biloxi Bay Cleanup Turning Up Precious Items

A massive clean up of Biloxi Bay is turning up old memories of life before Hurricane Katrina. Last month, local fishermen began removing debris from the water. Right now they are working in the area between D'Iberville and St. Martin.

So far local fishermen have pulled 3,000 cubic yards of debris out of Biloxi Bay. The Coast Guard which is overseeing the project says that's an average of 100 cubic yards a day.

Ens. James McKnight said, "They're getting what we asked them to get, the wet debris, the heavy debris that's out in the water."

Coast Guard officials say crews are mostly finding broken pieces of trees and houses that Katrina destroyed. However, every now and then they turn up something more interesting.

"We have some plaques that we've contacted the Ocean Springs Yacht Club about," said Ens. McKnight. "They're going to come pick them up or they told us that they would."

Not everything is as easily identifiable as the plaques, crews have found swords, vases and yard decorations. There are photographs from a birthday party and a school picture of a little girl - all things that were precious to someone.

Ens. McKnight said "We have a few things on our job site that may have sentimental value. We don't know and there's no way to find the owner. A lot of the stuff we're pulling out right now is out of the Jackson County side of Biloxi Bay, and if somebody thinks that we might have found something in this general area then we'll be glad to give it back to them. "

McKnight says returning little treasures to people who lost so much would make this important cleanup even more worthwhile.

Coast Guard officials say one of the more unusual things they found in Biloxi Bay was a Russian machine gun from World War II. That was turned over to the Jackson County Sheriff's Department.