Help keep your water and wetlands clean! Each year, Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge and the Friends of Louisiana Wildlife Refuges partners with the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation and the Ocean Conservancy to clean up waterways and beaches around the Lake Pontchartrain Basin. "Beach Sweep," now in its 31st year, will be held for the entire weekend during daylight hours from Saturday, Sept. 19 through Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. No registration is required and there is no fee to participate.
Volunteers are needed to pick up thousands of pounds of debris and litter to clean up areas across the Northshore. This year, to ensure social distancing, refuge rangers will not be assembling a large group. Instead, individuals and families are encouraged to go out on their own to clean up anywhere across the Northshore while socially distancing. Volunteers should bring their own gloves, grabbers, trash bags and sanitizer, and be prepared to take trash bags with you and dispose of it properly.
Where You Can Help: Clean up anywhere in the Lake Pontchartrain Basin! If you have ditches in your neighborhood or a bayou nearby, those are good places to start. If you want to help at a local National Wildlife Refuge — Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge in Lacombe and near Slidell, Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge in East New Orleans, and Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge near Pearl River could use some love.
Post photos of your clean up to Facebook and share what you found, where you found it, and why you care, tag Facebook at Southeast Louisiana National Wildlife Refuges Complex, and include any of these hashtags to be entered to win prizes:
Prize categories include – largest volume of trash collected, biggest object collected, most unusual object, etc. Post your pics of your good deed by Sept. 20, 2020 to be entered to win prizes. Winners will be announced on Sept. 22. If you don't do social media, you can email a photo to JoAnne_Dolan@fws.gov.
The road on Big Branch Marsh National Wildlife Refuge is the most visited public use site on any of the eight refuges in Southeast Louisiana. Nearly 100,000 people annually use this area for fishing, wildlife observation, the free boat launch and recreational crabbing. Beach Sweep is an excellent avenue for stewardship, education, and outreach.
For more information, call the Southeast Louisiana Wildlife Refuge headquarters in Lacombe at (985) 882-2015.