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Coastal Cleanup set for Oct. 22 along Gulf Coast
BILOXI, Miss. -- Volunteers can help tidy their beaches and coastal waterways during this year’s Mississippi Coastal Cleanup event Oct. 22.
The 28th annual event begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 11 a.m. at more than 40 cleanup sites in Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties. Under the direction of Coastal Cleanup zone captains, participants will clear designated areas of debris, such as plastic bottles, cigarette butts, plastic bags and food wrappers.
Organized and implemented by the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Marine Debris Task Force, the event has helped remove more than 1.6 million pounds of trash from Mississippi coasts and waterways since 1988.
“The Coastal Cleanup is instrumental in helping keep trash out of the Gulf and making our beaches and coastal waterways safe for people and animals,” said Eric Sparks, project co-coordinator and assistant Extension professor.
Volunteers of all ages are welcome to participate. Adults must accompany minor children. When registering, participants should choose the county and cleanup site where they will volunteer.
Organizers recommend participants wear hats and closed-toe shoes and bring water, sunscreen, gloves and insect repellent. Lunch will be provided for properly identified volunteers.
Sparks said supporters of the program can continue to help throughout the year by volunteering or providing monetary or in-kind donations to help sustain the cleanup and education program.
“This year-round educational programming will promote the importance of proper trash disposal and demonstrate methods for reducing and properly disposing of trash before it harms our environment,” Sparks said. “We cannot undertake these activities without the donations from our great sponsors.”
Organizers rely on funds from local businesses, organizations and individuals to support the yearly cleanup event and provide educational programming. More than 30 sponsors currently support the program.
All donations are tax-deductible and can be made to the MSU Foundation by check or credit card.
To register for the Oct. 22 cleanup event, make a donation or for more information, visit the Mississippi Coastal Cleanup website at http://www.mscoastalcleanup.org or contact Sparks at 228-546-1025 or firstname.lastname@example.org.