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Litter is an inevitable by-product of human beings – Picayune Item

By Jessie James

MSU Extension Service

BILOXI, Mississippi — Garbage is a global problem known to reduce tourism, cost significant amounts of money to dispose of, and have huge environmental impacts. It is ultimately an inevitable by-product of everyday life.

The Mississippi Inland Cleanup Program (MSICP) is a litter-free education, awareness, and prevention program sponsored by the Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center as an extension of the Mississippi Coastal Cleanup Program. This program continued to expand the efforts of the Coastal Program by clearing local community debris through clean-up events, research, data collection, and outreach to help stop litter at its inland source.

The headquarters of the MSICP is located in Biloxi, but the program ultimately aims to provide its educational services in 21 southeastern counties. Since its inception in 2020, the program has recruited 430 volunteers to remove more than 2,712 pounds of litter from inland roads, waterways, wetlands and metropolitan areas. During these events, volunteers also collected data on the specific type of waste removed, to identify sources and design targeted prevention methods.

The main litter removed included tiny pieces of plastic (2,471), cigarette butts (2,427), food wrappers (1,822) and plastic drink bottles (1,329).

The Mississippi Interior Cleanup Program will also add a sub-program to this year’s initiatives called “Adopt-A-Campground.” Through conversations with community partners, campgrounds have been identified as prime locations for this type of service.

Locals and tourists alike enjoy exploring Mississippi’s abundant natural resources, and the campgrounds often serve as the main entrance to some of the state’s most scenic landscapes. Their proximity to natural areas, often bodies of water, and the accumulation of visitors make campgrounds a perfect place to promote conservation – however, it also makes them a major entry point for waste into the environment. environment.

Interested in preserving our natural resources as an individual, group or organization? Consider “adopting” your local campground.

More information on cleanups and how to get involved in other local waste prevention and disposal programs is available at http://nolittermovement.com. The MSICP program coordinator can be reached by email at [email protected] or 228-546-1045.