BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Throughout the weekend, thousands of visitors will head to the Gulf Coast for Spring Break activities. Many will visit for the first time, which is why people who are employed by the Harrison County Sand Beach Authority worked hard Thursday to make a good first impression.
Man and machine have been performing an intricate ballet that leaves the sand spotless, with good reason, according to sand beach director Chuck Loftis.
“This beach is our front door. That’s what most people see when they come to the coast. First thing is this beach, and a lot of people don’t know that we do have a beach," Loftis said.
He added that one section of beach is receiving a lot of attention right now, and that is the place where spring breakers tend to gather.
“We are in the hot spots are where most of the influx will be," Loftis said.
While we want the breakers to have fun in the sun, Loftis said there’s something else they can do as well.
“Please pick up your trash. We have over 400 receptacles. If people would just put their trash in the receptacles, it would be so much nicer and make it easier for us to keep this beach clean and pristine," he said.
When trash is left behind, some is a bit on the unusual side.
“Let your imagination go wild because you see all kinds of things out here. We’ll find clothing items, parts for cars. You name it, we’ve seen it,” Loftis said.
The men who operate these machines all said the same thing. Even though it’s hard work, they wouldn’t want to do anything else.
“I like being out here, doing the sand, watching the people and just enjoying the beautification out here and making it good for other people," said Kendall Erkhart.
Making it good for other people has left the sand beach director with a sense of accomplishment and pride.
“I think the guys are doing a phenomenal job on the very few people that we do have to take care of 26 miles, so I think it’s a plus," Loftis said.
The Harrison County Sand Beach Authority employs 21 people and has an annual operating budget of $2.1 million.