Gazebo Gazette

Harrison County Sand Beach started planting sea oats along Highway 90 earlier in the week. The first batch is being planted west of the Long Beach Harbor in Harrison County District 3.

The $200,000 funds for the project was allocated through Phase II of the Gulf Of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA). This funding was announced in September 2019 by former Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant.

Other projects including in the round of funding were an artificial reef construction for the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources and renovation on the outfall at Coffee Creek. The project funding will be administered by the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR).

The project will see sea oats planted along the 26 miles of Harrison County Sand Beach.

Additionally, the county has begun reducing road litter with new equipment.  For Mike Schonewitz, Harrison County District 5 Assistant Road Manager, the goal is simple – keep the roads of District 5 clean. Unfortunately, a perpetual litter problem is making things difficult for Schonewitz and his crew.  Schonewitz has a plan to stay one step ahead of those who choose to litter.

“Since April 20, we have picked up 440 bags of litter, which equals about 76 cubic yards of litter on our roadsides,” Schonewitz said. “We are in a campaign to clean up District 5 and keeping it looking as nice as possible, so we are concentrating on litter and cleaning up the right away.  We would love it if the motorists would just dispose of their litter when they arrive at their destinations and not throw it on the road.”

One way Schonewitz said he is combating the litter problem is by using some new equipment. He said the new equipment is making the garbage cleanup quicker and more efficient in terms of labor.

“We have a Stadium Vac that is attached to a John Deere Gator,” he said. “I have two people on the Gator — one is driving and the other is operating the suction hose. This is a two-person job. We are getting it done in less time. We have 195 miles of maintained roads in District 5, it’s more than that because it’s 195 miles up and then back down, so this cuts down tremendously on walking the district.”

Schonewitz said the City of D’Iberville was using a similar piece of equipment. After a meeting with Harrison County District 5 Supervisor Connie Rockco and Harrison County Road Manager Tim Smith, the Stadium Vac was purchased for District 5. He said the other districts in Harrison County are also using the machine to help eliminate litter.

“Harrison County recently bought four more Stadium Vacs,” Schonewitz said. “We do litter pick up throughout the year, but we do the majority of it between April and October because that’s when we are cutting the grass on the side of the roads. We run the litter crew and then mow a couple of days later. But if people would stop throwing trash on the side of the roads we could cut the labor down even more.”