Big numbers and big appreciation highlights 2016 Renew Our Rivers wrap up...

Big numbers and big appreciation highlights 2016 Renew Our Rivers wrap up luncheon

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How much debris has been collected in the 11 years of Mississippi Power’s Renew Our Rivers campaign? The total is more than 325 tons, which equals out to just over 676,000 pounds, or about half the weight as the Christ The Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In 2016, the annual environmental stewardship campaign recruited 580 volunteers to eight events and collected more than 25 tons of debris from waterways all across the company’s service territory.

“The goal is to leave our waterways in better shape than we found them,” said Public Relations and Corporate Services Vice President Johnny Atherton. “This started out 11 years ago with a handful of people. Now, it’s a major effort. These efforts make our part of the world a little better.”

On Nov. 11, employees gathered at The Dock restaurant in Gulfport with volunteers, both public and private, to remember the beneficial work done this year.

“We couldn’t do this without your enthusiasm, commitment to teamwork and dedication to the program,” said Courtney VanderSchaaf, 2016 Renew Our Rivers coordinator.

“What started as a plan to help out on Earth Day turned into a wonderful project,” said Mary Spain, MGM Resorts International – Mississippi Operations.

Senior Marketing Analyst Meg Payment echoed those thoughts as she spoke about her experience at the first ever Henderson Point cleanup.

“We set a goal to have 40 volunteers at that event,” Payment said. “We ended up with 70. The best part of the day was when the volunteers asked us when the next cleanup was.”

By the time the luncheon was over, plans for the 2017 Renew Our Rivers Campaign were already in the works.

“In 2017 we’ll try to grow our partnerships and areas to cover,” VanderSchaaf added.

2016 Renew Our Rivers Totals

  • Deer Island – 1.3 tons
  • Boley Creek – .45 tons
  • Clermont Harbor – 7.1 tons
  • Back Bay – 1.75 tons
  • Okatoma River – .47 tons
  • Henderson Point – 9.4 tons
  • Pascagoula River – 4 tons
  • Gulfport Lake/Turkey Creek – 2.5 tons