Gazebo Gazette

The University of Southern Mississippi’s (USM) Marine and Estuarian Graduate Student Association (MEGSA) hosted a beach cleanup Saturday, Aug. 12 on the Gulf Coast.

David May, MEGSA president, said the cleanup was a huge success, with more than 950 pieces of trash picked up totaling more than 60 pounds.

“These cleanups are a great opportunity for graduate students at GCRL to be able to connect with the community and come together to serve a good cause,” he said.

Regardless of the excessive heat advisory, families along with USM professors and students participated in the cleanup, with the support of beach cleanup supplies provided by the Mississippi State Coastal Restoration Program.

Molly Spencer, vice president of MEGSA, wanted to have the cleanup before the start of the busy fall semester to bring the community together.

“We were cautious with our hopes on the turnout for this event, but we were happy to see a lot of families show up and be stewards of their beach,” said Spencer. “This helped show our presence in the community, and let people know that the graduate students are passionate about fostering a healthy coastal environment and involving the community in this pursuit.”

The beach cleanup was an all-day event that accommodated families and people who wanted to help. Pizza was provided by Tom’s Extreme Pizzeria.

The trash collected from the cleanup was deposited in designated bins not located on the beach. The next beach cleanup event will be held later in the fall.