Volunteers clean up Deer Island as part of Mississippi Power’s ‘Renew our Rivers’ program

Since 2005, Mississippi Power’s ‘Renew our Rivers’ program has collected almost 400 tons of debris. Today, with volunteers from several Coast casinos, they ventured to Deer Island for a cleanup.

Employees from Coast casinos like the Hard Rock, Harrah’s, Beau Rivage, and the Golden Nugget flooded Deer Island for Mississippi Power’s annual Renew our Rivers program. Beau Rivage employee Monique Kelley said, “Our guests stay in our hotels and this is what our guests see when they have that beach view. It’s very important to keep it clean. This is our home.”

The program has collected 20 tons of debris on Deer Island alone. “Patio furniture has been out there. I’ve picked that up today. It’s crazy how it travels all the way back here and just sits.”

Hard Rock Café employee Nick Ladner said, “A lot of plastic bags, Styrofoam, there’s a bag of pork I think back there. I didn’t mess with it. The island is beautiful and to come out here and see how much stuff is out here, it’s kind of depressing.”

Mississippi Power Spokesman Jeff Shepard said, “We haven’t been able to do this clean up in the past couple of years because of the pandemic. Even as we were riding out on boats, you could see the trash just sitting on the island.”

The litter was collected by the volunteers and shipped back off to the mainland where it will be disposed of properly. “If you are coming out to the island, it is beautiful. You have these great views, bring a trash bag or two. I know some of this stuff floats in, but a lot is left behind by folks visiting out here. It really can be taken care of with a proactive attitude.”

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