The 2018 Renew Our Rivers campaign started under clear blue skies in Biloxi last Friday with the 9th annual Deer Island Cleanup.
While temperatures hovered in the 40s for the safety briefing and welcome, by the time the first bags of trash were being filled on the barrier island, the sun was shining on the more than 170 volunteers.
“Deer Island is beautiful and as a barrier island, it plays a critical role in protecting South Mississippi from storms,” Environmental Affairs Director Mark Loughman told the crowd of volunteers. “And today, we get to protect it.”
The annual cleanup on Deer Island is a true collaboration between Mississippi Power, several casino partners – Beau Rivage, Hard Rock, Harrah’s and Golden Nugget – the Department of Marine Resources, Harrison County Beautification, Waste Management and Eco Tours of South Mississippi.
“Most of the volunteers at today’s event are not Mississippi Power employees, they work for one of our partners,” Renew Our Rivers Coordinator Courtney VanderSchaaf said. “That’s a testament to our community relationships and the success of this event year-after-year.”
Items picked up at the event included a machete, plastic chairs and the materials used to cook methamphetamine. The Harrison County Marine Patrol investigated and determined that no hazardous materials were found by volunteers.
At the first eight Deer Island cleanups, more than 14 tons of debris was collected. On Friday, another 2.87 tons were picked up.
Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), produces safe, reliable and environmentally responsible energy for more than 187,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties. With nearly 160 megawatts of approved solar energy capacity, Mississippi Power is the largest partner in providing renewable energy in the state of Mississippi. Visit our websites at www.mississippipower.com and www.mississippipowernews.com, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube.