The second Renew Our Rivers cleanup of 2014 took place on a pair of South Mississippi waterways on May 15. Back Bay Biloxi and Turkey Creek in Gulfport were the target locations, and each saw bag after bag of debris hauled from its waters.
On Back Bay Biloxi, more than 30 Mississippi Power volunteers began the morning at the boat launch under I-110 in d’Iberville. Joined by several boats from the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, volunteers hauled away more than a ton of trash.
“It was a beautiful day to make a difference on these waterways,” Patricia Berry, program coordinator, said. “On the heels of an incredibly successful Deer Island Cleanup on Earth Day, the 2014 Renew Our Rivers campaign is off to a tremendous start.”
Volunteers from the Transmission department pinpointed one area of Turkey Creek for their cleanup. A giant pile of debris had accumulated in one bend of the creek. Seven transmission volunteers, who spent the day breaking apart the pile, removed more than 1,500 lbs. of trash.
Most of the trash was classified as nonpoint source (NPS) pollution. As heavy rains fall and snow melts to the north, rivers and creeks pick up and carry away natural and human-made pollutants, finally depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters and ground waters. Litter is also a large component of NPS.
“It was absolutely mind-boggling to see this much trash accumulate in one area,” Steve Craig, Transmission general manager, said. “We found tires, a propane tank, a toilet, hundreds of glass and plastic bottles and more out here.”
Renew Our Rivers moves to the northern part of the service territory in the final weeks of May. The annual Chunky River cleanup is Saturday, May 17, for information, contact Al Kennedy. The cleanup of the Okatoma River in the Pine Belt is scheduled for May 31, contact Jerry McBeth for information.