MSU and MS Aquarium team up to clean Jones Park Beach
The Mississippi Aquarium and Mississippi State University joined forces for a community cleanup over the weekend at Jones Park Beach.
Originally over 60 people registered to help, but only a fraction attended because of the rainy condition.
“It seems like a fun thing to do. We didn’t have anything else to do so we did it.”
“This is the state we live in and our beaches I feel like they shouldn’t have this much trash so I just want to clean up a little.”
From Madison, Mississippi, siblings Kacy and Quest spent their Saturday morning volunteering during the Star Spangled Cleanup. “There was a lot. Every step you took you could pick something else up.”
Despite the small turnout, MSU is always happy to get a helping hand and work together with the community. Mississippi State University Extension Associate Elizabeth Englebretson said, “Anytime we have people come out and do hands-on works to get the experience and get a better understanding of marine debris and what we’re up against. A lot of people don’t realize how many cigarette butts end up on the beach and how much trash there actually is.”
For the Aquarium, a partnership like this brings them closer to completing their mission by providing the community with experiences that support animal research and conservation. Mississippi Aquarium Communications Manager Jeff Clark said, “MSU will take this stuff and they’ll sort it out and create a data base from it. So, it’s educational. It aligns with our conservation efforts and we’re just trying to keep our community beautiful.”
It was named the Star Spangled Clean up because every year there is a Coastwide cleanup following the Fourth of July. Firework debris can be extremely toxic for marine life. “People like to come out here, shoot off fireworks, and have a great time on the beach for the Fourth of July. Unless we’re picking up after ourselves, it just turns into a trash heap. So, we want to make sure we get all of that out of here.”
While this cleanup is over, you can still help by picking up litter on the beaches or in the water.