MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST — Even though the federal shutdown has ended, Gulf Islands National Seashore is not participating in this Saturday’s Mississippi Coastal Cleanup.
Yesterday, the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources sent out a news release about the barrier islands being closed for the cleanup. Despite the federal government being reopened late yesterday, the islands will remain closed and will not be a part of this year’s event.
“All of the supplies and volunteers assigned to the islands have been redistributed to other locations along the Coast, and we expect to have a very successful Coastal Cleanup on the event’s 25th anniversary,” said DMR public information officer Melissa Scanlon in a release.
Gulf Islands National Seashore includes Cat, West and East Ship, Horn, Petit Bois and Sand islands as well as Davis Bayou.
GINS volunteers are encouraged to visit www.mscoastalcleanup.org or go to www.facebook.com/mscoastalcleanup for a complete list of cleanup sites and to download a registration form, which they can bring with them on Saturday and turn in at their selected site. All of the remaining sites in Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties as well as Deer Island will be open and participating in the Mississippi Coastal Cleanup.
“It’s unfortunate the islands will be unavailable for cleanup this weekend, but we will not let it dampen our enthusiasm to clean up the other areas of the Coast,” said Jamie Miller, executive director of the DMR.
“The more than 200 boaters and other volunteers who had signed up to clean the barrier islands or Davis Bayou have been contacted via email and invited to participate at any of the more than 60 other designated Coastal Cleanup sites,” said Lauren Thompson, MDMR public relations manager and state coordinator for the Mississippi Coastal Cleanup. “I am grateful to all of our volunteers and hope that those affected by the government shutdown will not allow that to diminish their volunteer spirit and that they will still come out and join us on Saturday, rain or shine.”
For those who still want to participate by boat, extra supplies will be available at the check-in table between the boat launch and the pier at the harbor end of Front Beach in Ocean Springs and at the check-in table at the boat launch at the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor for volunteers interested in cleaning Deer Island. For more information call 228-380-5907 or 228-324-9292.