Mississippi Power gears up for Renew Our Rivers

GULFPORT, MS - May 7, 2008 - Mississippi Power is teaming with more than 60 corporate sponsors and governmental agencies for an intensive four-day cleanup event, Renew Our Rivers, May 14 - May 17, 2008. In its third year, the cleanup initiative will stretch from the Mississippi Gulf Coast up to Meridian covering more waterways and involving many more volunteers.

“The expanding event is doing exactly what it was intended to do, serve the environment and engage more people in taking better care of our water playgrounds,” said Flinda Hill, senior environmental specialist and Renew Our Rivers director, Mississippi Power. “In a short period of time, this event has grown from a two-day cleanup effort with approximately 200 employee volunteers to a four-day event with a goal of 1,000 volunteers from throughout the community across Southeast Mississippi.”

The 2008 Renew Our Rivers will focus on Back Bay Biloxi, Tchoutacabouffa River, Biloxi River, Pascagoula River, Jourdan River in Hancock County, Turkey Creek and Brickyard Bayou in Gulfport, Okatoma Creek in Hattiesburg, and Chunky River in Meridian.

In addition to the physical cleanup dates, Mississippi Power believes no matter how much debris is collected the event would not be successful without an education component to create an awareness among future boaters and water enthusiasts.

“Keep Mississippi Beautiful has graciously agreed to financially support the printing of 5,000 elementary education coloring books called ‘Message in the Bottle - A River Adventure,’” said Hill. “These books, which talk about forms of water pollution, will be distributed throughout Mississippi sending a message to respect our invaluable waterways.”

Mississippi Power Renew Our Rivers Event Page Two Working in the outdoor classroom, award-winning Chad Pregracke, nationally recognized founder of Living Lands & Water, will partner with Renew Our Rivers again this year along with his team of environmental cleanup experts to educate volunteers and lead the cleanup efforts.

Pregracke, a celebrity in the environmental arena, will also provide several boats to aid in hauling large debris items.

Renew Our Rivers 2008 could not be possible without these additional partners: Renew Our Rivers Partners Alabama Power Company, American Association of Blacks in Energy, Beau Rivage, CDM, Chicken Daddy and the HotWings Band, City of Biloxi, Carnival and School Supply, Coast Electric Power Association, Coast Young Professionals, Cumbest Reality, Cupit Signs, Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, Domino’s Pizza, Eco-Tours of South MS, Empress Audio & Marine, Grand Bay NERR, Guild Hardy Architects PA, Gulf Coast Research Lab, Gulf Islands National Seashore, Gulf Islands Water Park, Gulf Regional Planning Commission, Gulfport Dock Bar and Grill, Hancock Bank, Hancock County McLeod Park, Hancock County Road Department, Hard Rock Casino, Harrison County, Harrison County Beautification Commission, Harrison County Engineering, Hollywood Casino, Jackson County Solid Waste, Jourdan River Resort and Yacht Club, Keep Mississippi Beautiful, Little River Marina, Living Lands and Waters, Matthews Marine, McAlister’s, McCoy’s River and Marsh Tours, MDEQ - Coast OPC, Merchants & Marine Bank, Miller Enterprises, MS Export Railroad, MS Outdoor Club, North Gulfport Community Land Trust, NOAA Fisheries, Pascagoula River Basin Alliance, Prime Outlets, Roberts Marina, S.H. Anthony Inc., Sassy’s Restaurant, Sherwin Williams, Southern Company Services, The Corps Network-Gulf Coast Conservation Corps, Timberland, Turkey Creek Community Initiative, United States Environmental Services, Wal-Mart, Waste Management Inc., Whitney Bank.

Renew Our Rivers originated at Mississippi Power’s sister company, Alabama Power, with Renew the Coosa where employees helped to clean up the Coosa River in May 2000. Three years later, the event was renamed Renew Our Rivers and quickly spread throughout Southern Company to Mississippi Power.

Living Lands & Waters is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the beautification and restoration of America’s major rivers and to educating people about environmental issues. The organization was founded by Pregracke of East Moline, Illinois, in 1997.

In the years since its inception, Pregracke’s organization has cleaned hundreds of miles of shoreline removing an estimated 2 million pounds of garbage.

2007 Renew Our Rivers Event Stats

*More than 400 volunteers, approximately 40 boats

*A grand total of 30.59 tons of debris, garbage and hand trash was collected on Deer Island and Pascagoula River.

* Garbage found includes: tires, refrigerators, petroleum tanks and a buried port-a-potty. Volunteers are guaranteed to find “party debris,” countless beer bottles and cigarette butts.


Media Contact: Cindy Duvall, MPC Corporate Communications, 228.865.5543 or 1.800.821.6383