Last week, a pilot project funded by the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) deployed litter collectors in four locations on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The device is a floating structure that uses booms to direct the flow of water and litter into a trap. These floating trash traps collect both litter and debris, and the booms allow wildlife, kayaks, and boats to navigate over or under it.
“It is our objective to learn if these traps can substantially reduce the amount of litter [that] enters the Mississippi Sound from upland areas and to collect data on what types of litter are in our streams as well as their sources,” explains MDEQ Executive Director Chris Wells. “We are exploring various ways to improve water quality including conducting this pilot project to remove trash and litter from waterways. We look forward to the results of this project and perhaps the opportunity to expand the use of litter traps coast-wide or maybe even statewide.”
The project is funded by the Strategic Streams Restoration Program under Bucket 1 of the RESTORE Act. MDEQ awarded funding for the pilot project to the Mississippi State University (MSU) Coastal Research and Extension Center.
In this video of likely interest to other states, MSU’s Eric Sparks explains how the devices work. More information about Mississippi’s comprehensive restoration efforts can be found here.