Progress made removing litter at Reservoir and along the Pearl River

By MEGAN PHILLIPS,

The Spillway Recreational Litter Committee has made progress in trying to clean up the reservoir and the Pearl River.

“Our Spillway Recreational Litter Committee met last week, and we reported this to the Parks Policy Committee,” John Sigman, Pearl River Valley Water Supply District (PRVWSD) general manager, said about a recent July meeting.

“We feel like there’s been substantial progress in the abatement of litter. There are some holdouts, but the fishermen are doing a good job. We’re not recommending any closure at this time.”

Sigman said reservoir officials had discussed closing public areas on the Pearl River below the Spillway if the amount of trash could not be curbed.

“We feel like everyone’s doing a good job and to close it at this point would be a negative thing.”

There will be an organized cleanup on September 23 and 24, according to Sigman, who will help with the project.

“I think we’ll close the area just for attention, but the board has to approve that before we can do that.”

One of the major cleanups included three tons of trash, Sigman said. “But it’s been a lot less since then. It’s mostly water bottles and bait containers. Those are the biggest things that we see.”

Reservoir police officers can issue tickets for littering, and one state law provision prohibits the discardation of animal parts.

“So if people are throwing fish in the parking lot, they can be ticketed under that game law under the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.”

Sigman doesn’t think any tickets have been written so far, because of the difficulty of catching someone in the act. However, reservoir police patrol and remain on the lookout for litterers.

New LED lighting has also been installed at the parking lots on either side of the Spillway.

“It’s bright down there at night. It’s more or less to deter anything but fishing. No drugs and stuff because now you can be seen.”