The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (M.D.E.Q.) reached out to the community in a unique way Friday. Ellis Cuevas says, "You folks are the leaders of tomorrow. Think about that." This was the message told to the students of Delisle Elementary. Cuevas has been a driving force in the fight for environmental protection in Hancock and Harrison counties. Cuevas says, "Well I've been involved with beautification since 1977 and I've been the Beautification Committee Chairman since 1980."
With more than 30 years of experience, Cuevas has been instrumental in environmental crusades and extending his hand to help others. Charlie Schadler, a representative of M.D.E.Q., says, "Ellis Cuevas is still doing a great job and I think it's time to say, ‘Thank you.’" Schadler has followed in Cuevas’ footsteps, dedicating her life to the education of young students on how to protect where they live. Schadler says, "We're going to be performing for the students, hoping to enlist them to be little water quality steward helpers, to go out and do stewardship in simple ways, like not littering." The reason for the performance in Pass Christian was the result of the nearby rotten bayou water shed exceeding pollution limits, which caused the M.D.E.Q. to take action.
Coen Perrott, the Lower Basin Coordinator for M.D.E.Q., says, "We're implementing best management practices in the water shed. We're forming a water shed team, and we will be writing a water shed plan." Even with these actions being taken to clean the water shed, organizers of the event agree that it all starts with members of the community. Cuevas closes, "I don't care who you are and where you came from, you need to contribute a little bit back to the community and there’s so many different ways that you can." Schadler has now presented the show Watershed Harmony to over 150,000 students.