Sweeping Out the Trash

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2020 Pearl River Clean Sweep removes thousands of pounds of trash

Photo essay by Jessi James and Pearl Riverkeeper Volunteers

Since it began 4 years ago, the Pearl River Clean Sweep has removed more than 135,000 pounds of trash from the Pearl River Basin, including the Pearl, Strong, and Bogue Chitto Rivers across 15 Mississippi counties and two Louisiana parishes.

The Clean Sweep offers an opportunity for volunteers to participate in a coordinated effort organized by like-minded leaders. Many people affiliated with the Mississippi State University Extension Service participated in the 2020 cleanup, and lead organizer Abby Braman is an Extension-certified Master Naturalist volunteer.

Master Naturalists, community volunteers who promote conservation and management of natural resources, played an important role in the 2020 Clean Sweep, including site leader Claire Graves and volunteers Foch Dickens, Beverly Keaton, Laura Lillard, Robert McAdory, Billy Mitchell, and Jennifer Sigrest.

Extension personnel from the Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi also participated, including Jessi James, Extension associate; Dr. Adam Rohnke, Extension specialist; and Dr. Eric Sparks, assistant Extension professor and director of the Coastal and Marine Extension Program.

At the 2020 Clean Sweep, 473 volunteers removed 27,819 pounds of trash, making almost 500 miles of a Mississippi waterway cleaner and healthier for people, wildlife, and plants.

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