BRANDON, Miss. (WJTV) – Trash along the Pearl River and reservoir is becoming a problem for anyone who boats or fishes.
A volunteer group says they need help keeping the waterways clean.
Plastic bottles, old fishing worm containers and lots of trash are piled along the shore of the reservoir.
Rodney Bennett didn’t expect to be surrounded by it while fishing at The Rez.
“It’s a little disturbing, you out here fishing and you having a good time and seeing all this trash out here. It’s not a good thing for the fisherman,” said Bennett.
Trash that gets caught in the reservoir flows down the Pearl River and sometimes makes it into the Gulf of Mexico.
Angi Webb, owner of Pearl River Kayaks in Brandon, says her customers have complained about the trash while being out on the water.
“It’s sad to see that everywhere you turn, there’s trash floating in the water and caught up in the weeds. It’s ruining this beautiful area that we’re blessed with,” said Webb.
‘Keep Reservoir Beautiful’ is a volunteer group that works to keep areas around the Pearl River and reservoir clean.
The group collects tons of trash throughout the year.
“We have a lot of people that are very concerned; they put litter in its place. Then we have many people that just leave it. They leave their trash when they get through. What we focus on are clean ups,” said Jeannine May, the Director of Keep the Reservoir Beautiful.
In a matter of 10 minutes, Webb collected a pile of trash along the river in her kayak.
The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District has workers that clean up areas around the water during the week but some think it’s going to take more.
“We would like to see more enforcement, where people are fined. We would love to see the judges and other political figures, in Mississippi, the legislators, raise fines like it is in other states,” said May.
“They have to care more for this area. If people aren’t changing their own minds in doing that, there needs to be some level of enforcement to help kind of kick it in.”
The Mississippi Development of Environmental Quality says they do not have a team that clears the waters of waste but they do investigate if there is an illegal dumping site.