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Renew Our Rivers removes 400th ton of debris

Mississippi Power’s Renew Our Rivers program reached a major milestone at the Pascagoula River cleanup, where volunteers removed the 400th ton of debris from a body of water in the company’s service territory.

“Thousands of volunteers, from employees and community partners to local and state governmental agency workers, have helped us achieve this milestone,” Program Coordinator Charles Blount said. “Everyone involved in these cleanups is passionate about the impact they have on the communities we serve.”

At Friday’s event on the Pascagoula River, more than 50 volunteers removed more than three tons of debris. Plant Daniel employees made up the majority of the volunteers, with several community partners involved as always.

“This is an event where you can see the difference at the end of the day,” said Plant Daniel Planning Team Leader Kevin Dearman. “We’ve been humbled by the willingness of employees to roll up their sleeves and dive right in, and by the outpouring of support we’ve received from so many contractors, vendors, and the community as a whole.”

Communications Manager Meg Payment has helped organize several Renew Our Rivers events in Pass Christian on the Bay of St. Louis.

“I live in the Pass and love being out on the water, so I wanted to help support conservation and preserve the beautiful waterways for the wildlife that live here,” said Payment. “We collected almost ten tons of debris at our first cleanup. Volunteers from multiple businesses and agencies collaborated, worked hard, had fun and produced results. It was a great day.”

In the northern part of the company’s service territory, the Okatoma and Chunky rivers present opportunities for volunteers to kayak and cleanup at a leisurely pace.

“Our partners at Okatoma Outdoor Post can see as many as 1,000 people on the river each weekend from March to October. That’s a lot of traffic and a lot of debris that gets left behind,” said Line Construction & Maintenance Supervisor Michael Palmer. “We’ve always enjoyed the opportunity to keep the area clean. It’s also a great way to include our families and have fun while serving our community.”

“Our employees take great pride in helping to preserve the Chunky River and educating others on the importance of protecting our natural ecosystems,” said Meridian Area Manager Chris Phillips. “The program is one more way we demonstrate to our communities how much we care about the places where we live and work.”

Chemical Technician PJ Wylie has coordinated Plant Watson’s fall cleanup on Gulfport Lake for the last six years. He enjoys how the event brings groups from across the company together for one purpose.

“Young and old from all corners of Mississippi Power and the community are united to protect our most valued assets,” said Wylie. “The waterways of the Mississippi Gulf Coast help make this an incredible place to live. Protecting them is the definition of community service.”

“Renew Our Rivers isn’t about ‘look at what I’ve done,’” added Dearman. “It’s about ‘look at the difference we’ve made together.’”

Now in its 97th year of operations, Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), produces safe, reliable and affordable energy for nearly 191,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties. Mississippi Power recently was a recipient of the Community Partner Impact Award from the Center for Energy Workforce Development for its innovative and ongoing efforts to build a diverse workforce. With nearly 160 megawatts of approved solar energy capacity, Mississippi Power is the largest partner in providing renewable energy in the state of Mississippi. Visit our websites at and, like us on Facebook, and follow us on TwitterInstagramLinkedIn, and YouTube.