2019 Mississippi Coastal Cleanup Art Book
These 11 colored drawings, from students living in Harrison County, celebrate the 2019 Mississippi Coastal Cleanup.
Since 1988, thousands of volunteers have gathered each fall to remove millions of pounds of trash from Mississippi’s coastline, waterways, and barrier islands.
Become a volunteer or sponsor for the annual event, organized by the Mississippi State University Extension Service: visit mscoastalcleanup.org today!
The Mississippi Coastal Cleanup, which annually features thousands of volunteers who pick up tons of trash, is usually held in October. However, because of extended rains, the 2019 cleanup was held November 16.
That day, 1,566 volunteers picked up more than 11 tons of trash from more than 40 sites along 34.7 miles of Mississippi’s coastline. Cigarette butts, plastic bottles, and food wrappers continued to be the most commonly found garbage along the coast, waterways, and barrier islands.
The Mississippi Coastal Cleanup is an important part of the International Coastal Cleanup, sponsored by Ocean Conservancy. The Mississippi State University Extension Service, with the support of wonderful sponsors, organizes, promotes, and leads the annual event.
By removing garbage from the Gulf Coast, volunteers are benefiting the environment and setting a positive example. This volunteer effort is one of the largest in the state.
On the day of the 2019 Mississippi Coastal Cleanup, community members came together at 8 a.m. They received trash bags and data cards to remove and report litter. The data cards allowed volunteers to describe how much and what they found so the sources of marine debris could be determined.
Afterward, generous sponsors offered lunches to the volunteers who participated, raffles were held, and all volunteers received a Mississippi Coastal Cleanup Volunteer T-shirt.
Single-use plastic items were the most common materials collected during the 2019 Mississippi Coastal Cleanup. More than 25,000 small plastic pieces were collected, as well 8,328 plastic bottle lids, 2,388 plastic cups and plates, and 4,360 plastic food containers.
These materials, when introduced into the marine food web, can be extremely harmful to wildlife on land, in the air, and in the water.
MSU Extension provides education that empowers people to make informed decisions about their families, jobs, and the environment, and Extension has coordinated the Mississippi Coastal Cleanup for the past 3 years.
The event is just one part of Extension’s Mississippi Coastal Cleanup Program, which aims to prevent and remove litter from the coastal environment through education, outreach, research, and cleanup activities.
Volunteers covered 34.7 miles of Mississippi’s coastlines, waterways, and barrier islands to collect the litter polluting the Gulf Coast. Community members filled 1,147 bags with trash.
Extension specialists are developing corresponding educational programming to promote the importance of prevention and demonstrate methods of reducing and properly disposing of trash.
Marine debris includes any manmade material that is intentionally or unintentionally, directly or indirectly disposed of or abandoned in our marine environment. From items that are tossed in the trash to outright litter, marine debris can be extremely harmful to wildlife.
Most Mississippi Coastal Cleanup volunteers wore gloves to avoid the sharp edges of some garbage, as well as foot protection in water to protect their feet from cuts from shells. When volunteers discovered trash that was too heavy to lift comfortably, they contacted their site captains to arrange for removal.
Anyone who registered online for the 2019 Mississippi Coastal Cleanup will receive an automatic email notification to sign up for the 2020 cleanup, to be held Saturday, October 17.
People who want to be added to the list may sign up at http://mscoastalcleanup.org/contact_us.
While the Mississippi Coastal Cleanup effort attracts thousands of volunteers each year, organizers want to stop littering before the trash reaches the water.
Take the pledge to Keep the Coast Clear at http://www.oceanconservancy.org/keep-the-coast-clear/pledge.html to help stop trash at its source.
The Mississippi Coastal Cleanup would not be possible without the support of our sponsors.
We thank: Chevron Pascagoula Refinery | Waste Management | The Shed Barbeque & Blues Joint | Mississippi Department of Marine Resources | Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality | Harrison County Beautification Commission | Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, South Beach Biloxi Hotel and Suites | Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Estuarine Education Center | Ocean Conservancy | Domino’s Pizza | Chemours | Mississippi Aquarium | Mississippi State University Marine Fisheries and Ecology | Audubon Mississippi | and Ship Island Excursions.
Produced by Agricultural Communications
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