Tuesday is Earth Day and five Biloxi casinos are giving back. They teamed up with a yearly cleanup effort headed by Mississippi Power. What better way to spend Earth Day than cleaning up Deer Island? Biloxi casino workers teamed up with the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (M.D.M.R.) and Mississippi Power for the Renew our Rivers Cleanup Program.
Camille Pitre, a volunteer with Mississippi Power, says she feels good about pitching in to help clean up the area where she loves to boat. Pitre says, “I been doing this a lot of years with Mississippi Power. You wouldn't believe the trash we get. We make a huge impact.” Program volunteers have been cleaning areas from on the Coast all the way up to Meridian since 2006, and it attracts environmentalists of all ages. Stella Bass, another volunteer, says, “We kayak over here all the time and we see so much litter and I get so mad.” Bass, 9, volunteered with her aunt. She's very passionate about the environment. Bass also says, “I see litter and I'm like, ‘Why do these people do that?’ I'm trying to stop that by helping with this.”
More than 150 casino workers volunteered Tuesday to do what they think is necessary to take care of our planet. Mary Cracchiolo, a volunteer with the Beau Rivage, says, “Earth Day, we can come together with a common mission and illustrate that we care about the environment.” Cigarettes and large blocks of driftwood are just some of the trash and debris these volunteers collected. They say they're glad to help spruce up Mississippi's closest barrier island. Harron Wise, a volunteer with the M.D.M.R., says, “We should be able to represent our islands, keep them clean because they're actually a very important part to keeping the Gulf Coast safe.”
Mark Loughman, the Environmental Affairs Director for Mississippi Power, says, “We take our role as environmental stewards seriously. Great opportunity to give back to our communities and give back to Mother Nature at the same time.” This Earth Day cleanup was the first of this year's Renew our Rivers Program. Mississippi Power will continue to better our state all year through October.