Representatives of several organizations met last week and began planning to host a cleanup of a section of the Red Creek Blueway in Stone County.
Mississippi Power Renew Our Rivers, The Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain, The Friends of Red Creek, Stone County Board of Supervisors, Stone County Economic Development Partnership, DeSoto Ranger District, Mississippi Men Standing Tall, The Friends of Deer Island, D’Iberville Volunteers Foundation, Gulf Coast Office Supply, Uncle Ralph’s Cabin Rentals, Keesler Air Force Base Outdoor Recreation, and Northwood Church have all partnered in the effort.
“Mississippi Power wants to include Red Creek in our Renew Our Rivers effort and this is an opportunity to do just that,” said Mississippi Power area manager for Stone, George and Greene counties Arnie Williams. “Red Creek is an incredible asset to Stone County as well as a tributary of the Pascagoula River.
“It’s importance in the health of that overall watershed cannot be overstated.”
A meeting at O’Neal-Bond Engineering in Wiggins set out the parameters of the cleanup effort.
Canoeists and kayakers will put in at the Kansas City Southern Railway trestle near Hwy.
49 and clean the creek between there and City Bridge.
Jon Bond, owner at O’Neal-Bond and a member of the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain Board of Directors, handled the logistics of putting as many as 75 volunteers into the creek and efficiently working to remove trash for an approximately six-mile stretch of the blueway.
“We had a river hydrologist do a study several years ago and that study found that Red Creek is healing herself from the damage and erosion caused when the area was clear cut in the early 20th Century,” he said.
“”We can’t fix her, but we can sure hurt her.”
The cleanup effort has been scheduled for Saturday Oct.
Volunteers will meet at Red Creek Camp for breakfast before half of them enjoy a float halfway to City Bridge, at which point they will begin their cleanup efforts.
The other half will begin cleaning at the trestle and continue to the halfway point, at which time they will be free to enjoy the float the remainder of the way to City Bridge.
Volunteers are still needed for the effort, but Renew Our Rivers, under whose auspices the cleanup will be undertaken, has asked that organizations – as opposed to individuals – sign up for the event.
Those interested are asked to call Williams at 228-861-5153.