Operation Clean Sweep scheduled September 21

By NIKKI ROWELL,

Barnett Reservoir officials and volunteers are preparing for the third annual Operation Clean Sweep on the Pearl River.

Designed to help tackle the litter problem along the river and reservoir, the event will kick off on Saturday, September 21 at 8 a.m. across 30 locations.

The first two Clean Sweeps in 2017 and 2018 engaged more than 1,700 volunteers and removed over 67,000 pounds of trash from the Pearl River watershed.

“When you volunteer for the Pearl River Clean Sweep, you are part of the International Coastal Cleanup community conducting September 21 cleanups on waterways around the world,” said Pearl Riverkeeper and event organizer Abby Braman. “This is a special day to opt outside, meet your neighbors, protect everyone’s right to clean water and give back to our precious natural resources.”

The Spillway Recreation area below the dam will be closed on September 21 and 22 for Operation Clean Sweep.

Work is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. Saturday on the west side of the Spillway and continue until it is complete.

Volunteers who would like to participate have 30 locations to choose from. Operation Clean Sweep targets the entire Pearl River watershed, from the headwaters at Nanih Waiya above Philadelphia to the Pearl’s mouth on the Mississippi and Louisiana border at the Gulf of Mexico.

Reservoir cleanup locations include:

• Old Trace Park for land-based cleanup. The site leader is Jan Richardson, Keep Ridgeland Beautiful. The meet-up location is Old Trace Park at Old Park Trail, off Post Road, near Madison Landing in Ridgeland.

• Lakeshore Park for land-based cleanup. Registration reserved for American Heritage Girls, Trail Life, Boy Scout and Cub Scout Packs 575 only. The site leader is Gennifer Hankins, American Heritage Girls. The meet-up location is Lakeshore Park in Brandon.

• Ross Barnett Reservoir Spillway Dam for watercraft and land-based cleanup. Site Leaders are Todd Macko, Jimmy Walters, Jr, and John Breland and Ross Barnett Reservoir Spillway Fishing Group. The meet-up location is the dam parking lot on Spillway Road.

Volunteers are asked to bring a reusable water bottle, not single-use plastic; gloves and sturdy shoes. Volunteers who post photographs to social media are asked to use the hashtag #PearlRiverCleanSweep or tag Pearl River Keeper.

Cleanup bags will be distributed by site leaders.

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