Littering is a Problem at The Rez and Along Pearl River

By Natay Holmes
Published: July 12, 2016, 7:28 pm

BRANDON, Miss. (WJTV) – Trash along the Pearl River and reservoir is becoming a problem for anyone who boats or fishes.

A volunteer group says they need help keeping the waterways clean.

Plastic bottles, old fishing worm containers and lots of trash are piled along the shore of the reservoir.

Rodney Bennett didn’t expect to be surrounded by it while fishing at The Rez.

“It’s a little disturbing, you out here fishing and you having a good time and seeing all this trash out here. It’s not a good thing for the fisherman,” said Bennett.

Trash that gets caught in the reservoir flows down the Pearl River and sometimes makes it into the Gulf of Mexico.

Angi Webb, owner of Pearl River Kayaks in Brandon, says her customers have complained about the trash while being out on the water.

“It’s sad to see that everywhere you turn, there’s trash floating in the water and caught up in the weeds. It’s ruining this beautiful area that we’re blessed with,” said Webb.

‘Keep Reservoir Beautiful’ is a volunteer group that works to keep areas around the Pearl River and reservoir clean.

The group collects tons of trash throughout the year.

“We have a lot of people that are very concerned; they put litter in its place. Then we have many people that just leave it. They leave their trash when they get through. What we focus on are clean ups,” said Jeannine May, the Director of Keep the Reservoir Beautiful.

In a matter of 10 minutes, Webb collected a pile of trash along the river in her kayak.

The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District has workers that clean up areas around the water during the week but some think it’s going to take more.

“We would like to see more enforcement, where people are fined. We would love to see the judges and other political figures, in Mississippi, the legislators, raise fines like it is in other states,” said May.

“They have to care more for this area. If people aren’t changing their own minds in doing that, there needs to be some level of enforcement to help kind of kick it in.”

The Mississippi Development of Environmental Quality says they do not have a team that clears the waters of waste but they do investigate if there is an illegal dumping site.
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Bluebird Houses

Thanks to Taylor Bowlin, and his father James for  providing new habitat houses for bluebirds.  Taylor’s Eagle Scout project is finished and  Keep The Rez Beautiful (KRB) is excited to announce that 12 new bluebird habitat houses have been installed around the 12 mile walking/jogging loop on the Rankin County side of the Reservoir. .  The trail begins and ends  at the  KRB/PRVWSD Turtle Point Nature Area on Scenic Drive.  As you walk, jog or bike, check out the new bluebird boxes.  Special thanks to Taylor and James for all their hard work!  Special funding was provided by Keep America Beautiful and Lowe’s.   Keep The Rez Beautiful welcomes other volunteer projects.  Please contact us for more information.


New Dog Waste Station

The first dog waste station to be installed around the Ross Barnett Reservoir area is located at the Turtle Point Nature Area on Spillway Road between Northshore Parkway and Highway 471. Visit the nature area soon… KRB has been working on the nature area since 2012 to plant trees, a pollinator garden and more! Thanks to other grant funding, PRVWSD added a new kayak launch and walking trail. New benches are being added soon and are being furnished by a Leadership Rankin Team! Thanks to the PRVWSD and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, more stations are being installed along the 12 mile walking/jogging trail and in other locations. Please help KRB and others to keep the Reservoir clean by utilizing these new stations! It’s a best management practice supporting water quality.



Thanks to Patagonia and our local Buffalo Peak Outfitters, Keep The Rez Beautiful (KRB) recently supplied the first dog-waste stations for Ross Barnett Reservoir campgrounds and the Turtle Point Nature Area and other parks, including a future dog park, located around the  Reservoir to help reduce nonpoint source pollution.  Funding also provided the installation of new native plants and trees to improve existing and  to create new pollinator gardens.  These “Best Management Practices,” will help improve water quality and will increase pollinators that are in decline nationwide.  Volunteers from Whole Foods, Inc., Lowe’s Heroes, Pearl River Valley Water Supply District maintenance employees, local schools and KRB  Board members all assisted in the projects.  The initiative has served as a catalyst for other partnerships in the effort, including Keep America Beautiful, Lowe’s, MS Department of Environmental Quality and Keep Mississippi Beautiful, allowing the purchasing of more dog waste stations and  plants. Over 1,500  hours of volunteer time was donated in 2015 for volunteer efforts.