Marine Debris Removal and Monitoring in the Lower Pascagoula River
The Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center and partners are removing derelict vessels and other large marine debris from the lower Pascagoula River and monitoring for ecosystem recovery.
Type of Project: Removal
Region: Gulf of Mexico
Project Dates: September 2021 - August 2024
Who is involved?
With support from the NOAA Marine Debris Program, a team from the Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center, Mississippi State University Coastal Conservation and Restoration Program, and Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant are leading removal and monitoring efforts in the lower Pascagoula River. Additional partners from the Mississippi Coastal Cleanup Program and Mississippi Inland Cleanup Program will organize community-based cleanup events and marine debris education.
What is the project and why is it important?
The Pascagoula River is the largest undammed river and last unimpeded major river system in the contiguous United States. Marine debris travels to this river and into the Gulf of Mexico from across Mississippi from littering, dumping, and storm events that create large amounts of debris In addition to the typical small debris items, like plastic bottles and straws, the lower portion of the watershed is littered with several abandoned and sunken vessels and other large debris, such as appliances and tractor tires. A buildup of debris of all sizes threatens to damage the thriving, yet delicate habitats of the Pascagoula River ecosystem.
To address these issues, a team from the Mississippi State Coastal Research and Extension Center, Mississippi State University Coastal Conservation and Restoration Program, and Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant are removing several large marine debris items from the lower Pascagoula River and monitoring the recovery of the impacted ecosystem. Additionally, the team will leverage the activities of the Mississippi Coastal Cleanup and Inland Cleanup Programs to organize several community-based cleanup events and provide marine debris education throughout the lower Pascagoula River watershed.
For more information about this project, visit the Marine Debris Program Clearinghouse.