Coastal Clean-Up - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

09/21/02

Coastal Clean-Up

Hurricane Isidore scaled back a massive campaign to pick up marine litter but the storm couldn't stop it completely. Thousands of volunteers turned out for the 14th annual Mississippi Coastal Cleanup in Jackson, Harrison and Hancock Counties. Part of the cleanup was to include an underwater dive near Ship Island but that was canceled because of the weather. However, the clean up did go on as scheduled on Deer Island.

When the nearly three dozen Harrison Central High School Students docked on Deer Island to pick up trash some of them where overwhelmed by the amount of litter they saw.

Misty Kempson said "When we first got here we barely saw the beach where we pulled up at. We had three bags filled before we got 20 feet away from where we where at."

The Department of Marine Resources says the purpose of the Mississippi Coastal Clean up is two fold. One goal is to get rid of trash. The other is to give people a first hand look at what how careless behavior affects the environment.

"They're not thinking that they're going to find a turtle or a bird other type of marine life that's died as a result of ingesting a plastic bag," said Lauren Thompson of the Department of Marine Resources. " Maybe if they did see it first hand somebody would think twice about letting something like that blow out into the water."

Deer Island may not be a classroom, but these students say picking up styrofoam, bottles and even a refrigerator door has taught them a life lesson.

Kenneth Anderson said "I learned that people throw away too much trash and if they come out here they should bring their own trash bag."

The total number of bags picked up was 2,976.

by Danielle Thomas

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