LDWF to Take Part in Pearl River Cleanup Event

Release Date: 09/21/2017

Sept. 21, 2017 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will take part in the first Pearl River Clean Sweep 2017, an effort to deal with a growing litter problem on the river that runs along the Louisiana-Mississippi border.
The event will be held from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday (Sept. 23). The cleanup will span some 490 miles and involves dozens of volunteers from both states. The area to be cleaned involves 13 counties and two parishes.
LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet said he strongly supports the effort of the Pearl River Clean Sweep group. “It’s a great idea and something I think could be duplicated across the state,’’ Montoucet said.
The department will have two enforcement agents and two vessels at the site to assist with water safety issues.
State Rep. Malinda Smith is the organizer of the group performing clean up near her representative district that includes St. Tammany and Washington parishes. “We’re hoping for a large turnout to help get rid of the plastic bottles, Styrofoam and other debris along this wonderful river,” the Democrat state representative said.
There will be volunteers in boats, kayaks and walking along the banks, she said.
Stuart Bishop, chairman of the Natural Resources and Environment committee, will attend the event as an observer, Smith said, adding that the Lafayette Republican is focused on cleaning up waterways in his district.
“This clean-up is a bipartisan issue,” she said.
The event is the vision of Jessica Gauley, owner of Honey Island Kayak Tours, who has been leading a river cleanup event on the Pearl for more than six years.
Those interested in volunteering for the event or to get more information can visit pearlriverkeeper.com or americanrivers.org .