Hancock County

Clermont Harbor's second cleanup phase set for spring

JOHN FITZHUGH/SUN HERALD/FILEDebris has clogged Clermont Harbor in Hancock County since before Hurricane Katrina in 2005. A program called Renew Our Rivers worked to clean up the harbor Oct. 14 and in the spring will begin the second of three planned cleanup phases.
JOHN FITZHUGH/SUN HERALD/FILEDebris has clogged Clermont Harbor in Hancock County since before Hurricane Katrina in 2005. A program called Renew Our Rivers worked to clean up the harbor Oct. 14 and in the spring will begin the second of three planned cleanup phases.

CLERMONT HARBOR -- After waiting more than 10 years, a small waterfront community in Hancock County is one step closer to removing debris left over from Hurricane Katrina.

The Clermont Harbor Civic Association met Friday to discuss the second phase of Mississippi Power's Renew Our Rivers environmental-stewardship program. The cleanup is an annual program designed to clean up waterways throughout South Mississippi at no cost to the communities.

The first cleanup phase for Clermont Harbor involved dozens of Mississippi Power, T&D Solutions and Coast Electric Power Association employees and volunteers who removed several tons of sunken debris from tributaries and inlets Oct. 14.

"Phase 2 of the cleanup will happen this spring," association president Craig Clement said. "A crew will begin marking the area on Tuesday."

Clermont Harbor is west of Bay St. Louis. It is about seven blocks wide and stretches five blocks inland.

Clement said the waterways still contain debris from Hurricane Camille, the storm that devastated the Gulf Coast in 1969.

Tommy Kidd, Hancock County solid waste enforcement officer, said there will be a third and final cleanup phase in the fall, after which the community will look for ways to rebuild the harbor that once welcomed vessels.

A new harbor, Kidd said, may attract new people to the community.

"It's slowly coming back. It's even slower than it was in Camille," Kidd said. "It's just a matter of time."

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