Gautier couple clean the bayous one garbage bag at a time

Published: Feb. 3, 2013 at 9:11 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 4, 2013 at 10:54 AM CST
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JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - When Nancy Blue and Rick McDonald got married six years ago, he vowed to stay together for better or worse.

What might be considered the worst part is garbage in the marshes and bayous as far as they eye can see. Several hours every weekend, they comb through the marshes, garbage bags in hand.

Rick said it doesn't take long to fill them.

"Tons of bottles, cans, children's toys, construction equipment, lots of flip-flops, but we've never found a matching pair for some reason. We always look for odd things." Rick said.

He also said the reason they do it is simple.

"To keep the river clean for the birds, and the fish and our grandchildren in the future," Rick said.

According to Nancy, this was a project that started off small, and grew every week.

"We just started picking up from the side of the boat at first and decided we'd give back to the river because we spend every moment we can out here."

This hardworking and dedicated couple has been doing this job, cleaning up the bayous of Jackson County for the past six months and you would be simply amazed at the amount of garbage they have picked up so far.

Nancy has the figures.

"Not counting this week's 70 bags that we picked up. Last week the total was 412 bags. Approximately 40 pounds per bag is over 16,000 pounds or eight tons of trash, so that's a lot," Nancy said.

People who live along the bayous and call them home have never seen anything like this before. People like Jane Magee.

"I am amazed and I'm so proud of them and I think that should be recognized for this deed, it's just wonderful. Our marshes have so much litter in them."

And thanks to Nancy and Rick, it's litter that is slowly disappearing, one bag at a time.

The couple said the biggest problem they are faced with is disposing of the garbage they pick up every weekend. They said a lot of the local landfills will not take marine trash.

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