Hurricane debris removed at Renew Our Rivers cleanup at Clermont Harbor

Hurricane debris removed at Renew Our Rivers cleanup at Clermont Harbor

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Large amounts of debris is pulled from Clermont Harbor during the Renew Our Rivers cleanup Oct. 14.
Large amounts of debris is pulled from Clermont Harbor during the Renew Our Rivers cleanup Oct. 14.

It may not seem like a big deal, but when Clermont Harbor resident Carol Vignes saw her picnic bench being pulled from the marsh, she exclaimed “it’s like Christmas morning!”

For Vignes and her husband John, the bench is a memento that Mississippi Power and Coast Electric volunteers were able to bring back after it was blown into the wetlands by Hurricane Gustav back in 2008.

During the eighth Renew Our Rivers cleanup of 2015, many other huge pieces of storm debris like bathtubs, Jacuzzi tubs, roof tarps, and storage units were excavated from the bayou using marsh buggies, an airboat, and skiffs.

The Clermont Harbor project added to the total 15.3 tons that have been cleared from the bays, rivers, and marshes all over the company’s service territory this year. Since the program’s beginning back in 2005, more than 300-plus tons of rubbish has been cleaned up by company volunteers.

“I used to try and fish in here, and when I did, I had to dodge all this stuff,” said Clermont Harbor resident Danny Schott. “This is great, because I’ve tried to haul stuff out of here, and it’s not easy.”

Ray Stewart lives across the marsh from Schott, and says the company’s environmental stewardship program has made a huge impact in the Clermont Harbor community.

“I actually recognize some of this stuff,” he said. “It’s a pretty area, and this event helps to keep it that way.”