Helpers needed for river cleanup
Published 3:33 am Saturday, September 14, 2019
The “Pearl River Clean Sweep” is set for Saturday, Sept. 21, and Washington Parish citizens are once again urged to do their part to help with the river-wide beautification project.
The Clean Sweep is an annual event that aims to clean up the Pearl River watershed, from its headwaters in Nanih Waiya, Miss., downriver through the Ross Barnett Reservoir, along the border of Mississippi and Louisiana, all the way to Pearlington, Miss., on the Gulf Coast. The event also includes locations on the Strong and Bogue Chitto River tributaries.
The Clean Sweep aims to create drinkable, swimmable and fishable water in 15 counties, two parishes, two states and more than 490 miles of river.
State Rep. Malinda White, one of the local organizers, said that the Washington Parish volunteers are often one of the most productive teams in the entire campaign.
In 2018, local volunteers removed 18,840 pounds of refuse from the river, White said. In 2017, they removed 7,446 pounds.
“This is a small thing, but it’s also a big thing,” White said. “We’ll be doing it again this year, but because of the intense heat we’re going to working for four hours early in the morning, from 8 a.m. until noon.”
The website to register for the event is www.pearlriverkeeper.com. Upon going to the registration page, local volunteers should choose “LA Upper Pearl River” as their cleanup location.
According to the website, the local team will launch from multiple locations. This is a watercraft-based cleanup, so volunteers are asked to bring their own watercraft. The launch locations will include the Louisiana Pearl River Bridge Landing, Highway 10 in Bogalusa (4.6 river miles to Richardson Landing); Richardson Landing, Riverside Drive off Highway 21 in Bogalusa (9.42 river miles to Poole’s Bluff); and Poole’s Bluff Boat Launch, Poole’s Bluff Road off Highway 21 in Bogalusa.
There is also a Franklinton launch location, with the volunteers meeting up at the Bogue Chitto State Park. Amanda Beavers is listed as the site leader for this group.
This event is open to all ages and will be held rain or shine. Bring a reusable water bottle (no single-use plastic please), gloves and sturdy shoes. Site leaders will distribute cleanup bags.
In 2017 and 2018, this event engaged more than 1,700 volunteers and removed over 67,000 pounds of trash from the Pearl River watershed.
For more information, visit online at www.pearlriverkeeper.com.