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River ‘Clean Sweep’ starts Sept. 19

This year’s “Pearl River Clean Sweep” cleanup event is scheduled to begin Saturday. This is an annual event where volunteers help to clean up the river of debris, trash and other items.

Cleanup teams will be deployed at over 25 locations along the Pearl River watershed, from its headwaters in Nanih Waiya, Miss., downriver through the Ross Barnett Reservoir, along the border of Mississippi and Louisiana, and to Pearlington on the Gulf Coast. The Sweep also includes locations on the Strong and Bogue Chitto River tributaries. This event will celebrate drinkable, swimmable, fishable water in 15 counties, two parishes, two states and over 490 miles of river.

In the past three years, this event engaged more than 2,400 volunteers and removed over 100,000 pounds of trash from the watershed. The Sweep was an American River’s 2017 Cleanup Champion Award Winner for “Most River Miles Cleaned.”

Additional safety precautions will be taken this year and all CDC and state coronavirus guidelines will be followed. During the month of September, volunteers who cannot attend the cleanup are encouraged to do their own neighborhood mini-cleanups and share their results with Pearl Riverkeeper.

The clean-up site for Washington Parish is listed as “Louisiana Upper Pearl River.” It will have multiple launch locations on Saturday. This is a watercraft-based cleanup, and volunteers are urged to bring their own watercrafts. The site leader is State Rep. Malinda White.

Launch locations are: Louisiana Pearl River Bridge Landing, Louisiana Highway 10, Bogalusa (4.6 river miles to Richardson Landing); Richardson Landing, Riverside Drive off Highway 21, Bogalusa (9.42 river miles to Poole’s Bluff); and the Poole’s Bluff Boat Launch, Poole’s Bluff Road off Louisiana Highway 21, Bogalusa.

This event is open to all ages and will be held rain or shine. Clean-up starts at 8 a.m. Bring a reusable water bottle (no single-use plastic), mask, gloves, hand sanitizer and sturdy shoes. Site leaders will distribute cleanup bags. Spread the word and share cleanup photos on social media using #PearlRiverCleanSweep or by tagging “Pearl Riverkeeper.” Volunteers must maintain social distancing and wear masks as appropriate.

To register for the event, visit online at www.pearlriverkeeper.com/2020-register.html.

More event information can be found online at www.pearlriverkeeper.com/2020-pearl-river-clean-sweep.html.