Beach Clean Up Begins After Fourth Of July Bash

Walk along the Beach in Harrison County, and you can see it's an unsightly mess. Visitors, like Barb Mercer of Texas, noticed as soon as she set foot on the sand near Jones Park.

"That part of it looks pretty trashed, like somebody had a real nice party yesterday," Mercer said.

That Fourth of July party is the reason Harrison County inmates and Sand Beach workers had to hit the beach at 6 a.m. Friday.

"We're trying to pick up all the trash and the garbage, plus, firework debris," county employee Steve Threadgill said.

"We're picking up mostly fireworks, cardboard boxes, beer cans, beer bottles," Paul Trosclair said.

They also found unusual items, like pieces of clothing, money and a metal tent.

While a skeleton crew picked up the trash by hand, a machine dumped the debris from hundreds of cans along the beach. By the end of the day, crews collected more than 24,000 pounds of litter from the cans alone.

Workers say their job would be a lot easier if more people used the trash cans.

"They could have done a little more to help us out," Threadgill said. "They could have at least piled it up for us so we can get it, but they just left it scattered. You just got to move around a lot, but it ain't no big deal. We'll get it."

Employees say they're seeing a little bit more litter compared to last year.

"This year, it's a little bit more than usual. But there was a bunch of people you know, a packed house," Threadgill said.

It's a clean-up job that could take all weekend to finish.

"We'll get 50 percent of it," Trosclair said. "We'll get all of the big stuff by Sunday evening. It's just a job. They mess it up, we clean it up."

This weekend, Sand Beach crews will focus on picking up litter along the medians. On Monday, they'll send out the big machines to finish cleaning up the 26-mile beach.