RANKIN COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - Trash in America’s lakes, rivers and oceans is a major problem, but one local man is making it his mission to protect our waterways.
3 On Your Side spent the last two days exploring a few trouble spots in Rankin County.
When John Breland isn’t fishing on the water he is cleaning what’s in it and around it.
“That’s a pile of tires from the go-cart track,” said Breland as he pointed towards a massive mound of rubber. “We were exploring some stuff that was in the woods, then we saw this. Came up here and took pictures of it and passed it on.”
Along with hundreds of tires, there is plastic tubing, metal piping and a whole lot of concrete in the area.
John Wood owns and operates Seasons Mini Golf and Halloween Store. He has been leasing the property from Bennaford Investments for the last few years.
“I signed a lease on the property as is,” Wood said. “Hot water heater over there, you see the big tire in the ground right there?” he asked, pointing at an extremely large tire in a wooded area near the water.
When Wood was asked why he hadn’t cleaned the property in the years since he has leased it, he cited three reasons: it wasn’t his property, cost and flooding from the Peal River. Although the majority of trash on the property was there before his lease began, Wood says he will remove as much trash as he can before his lease expires next month.
“If you look at it right now, ninety-percent of that product that is sitting out there on those trees is out under water. You have to go through the water to the trees,” he explained, referring to the Halloween decorations in and around the water.
It’s important to understand where we as citizens come into the picture. All of the trash that is seen has accumulated on the water and on land, and it comes from businesses, residential homes, and, ultimately, it comes from us.
Abby Braman is the Director of Pearl River Keepers. She said living and working by water comes with it’s own unique responsibilities.
“It’s everybody’s personal responsibility and we shouldn’t look the other way and be thinking that somebody else should be worrying about this,” she said.