August 11, 2017 …..Keep The Rez Beautiful Plan of Action to Reduce Litter Below the Spillway is working to reduce litter thanks to many volunteers and partners who believe in KRB’s mission of a cleaner Ross Barnett Reservoir and Pearl River! Since 2011 when KRB was certified with Keep America Beautiful, hundreds and possibly thousands of volunteers have been helping to clean up the Ross Barnett Reservoir watershed.
KRB partnered with the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District and reduced tons of litter on islands on the Upper Pearl several years ago.
In November, 2016 the focus shifted to the Lower Pearl River Spillway area that drains to the Gulf of Mexico. Since 2011, volunteers have picked up tons of litter in this area as well as in other parts of the Pearl River and Reservoir.
KRB board members and partners developed the Plan of Action for Litter Reduction Below the Spillway and presented it to the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District Board for approval. The Board approved and the work began. Partners including the MS Dept. of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks, MS Dept. of Environmental Quality, MWF Adopt a Stream, Pearl River Kayaks, Inc. Keep Miss. Beautiful and others worked with PRVWSD to outline and implement the plan.
Since March 2017, volunteers have retrieved over 6,500 pounds of litter from the area. Action plan items to reduce litter in the area recently implemented include: gates installed on both sides of the Lower Spillway entrances, that could also be used as high water gates when the area floods; signage installed stating that the area could be closed if the litter and trash isn’t reduced; more garbage cans; improved lighting to deter littering and other issues at night. Keep America Beautiful and Lowe’s recently awarded KRB a $5,000 grant that will allow KRB and partners to install a new User Station providing educational & recreational information about the area; reducing blight in the area through beautification efforts; installing monofilament containers to reduce large amounts of broken fishing line that affect wildlife habitat and more. These efforts will aid in reducing litter, educate visitors about the impact and solutions in improving water quality and the wonderful opportunities that the Reservoir and Pearl River offer to everyone who recreate these areas.
As a result of these efforts on September 23, the 1st annual Pearl River Clean Sweep is planned. Volunteers from Nanih Waiya to Pearlington and into Louisiana will be “sweeping” the Pearl retrieving litter. To sign up to volunteer go to: Pearl RiverKeepers.com and select a site to help. So far there are 25 sites you can volunteer for including many on the Ross Barnett Reservoir including the Lower Spillway areas. Not only will be the litter be removed, but KRB will be recycling plastic bottles and aluminum cans. HELP US TREASURE THE REZ AND TREASURE THE PEARL….LET’S LEAVE IT SHINING! For more information go to www.keeptherezbeautiful.org and Facebook – Keeptherezbeautiful & Pearl Riverkeepers.com. # # #