The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe

The Hawkeye

ULM works to clean bayou with Water Sweep

Hanna Singh

ULM is well known for its magnificent bayou, and you will often see kayakers, water skiers and people fishing on the beautiful waters. Bayou Desiard is the heart of the university and possibly one of the most distinguishing features of the campus.  

However, with so many of Louisiana’s waterways suffering from severe pollution issues, it is important for our community to make an effort to keep our water clean.   

The Ouachita Water Sweep, hosted locally by Ouachita Green, allowed the community to do its part to clean up waterways around our parish with the help from volunteers and groups in the area.  

Some areas of participation included Black Bayou, the Ouachita River and Bayou Desiard. As part of the Water Sweep, ULM students from different organizations gathered together to rid Bayou Desiard of litter and keep ULM looking clean.   

ULM residential life hosted the sweep on campus, and RSOs were invited to participate in the cleanup. Students gathered in Scott Plaza Saturday morning to receive their gloves, trash bags, boots, trash grabbers and vests. Some brave individuals even suited up in waders to venture further into the water.  

Before the event began, residential life worker Daria De Carvalho Piexe explained the significance of hosting part of the Water Sweep on campus.   

“ULM is very proud of the condition of the campus, and keeping the water looking clean is an important part of being the ‘Best on the Bayou’ as they say”, she said.  

Bottles, plastic bags, cans and many other kinds of trash lined the banks of the bayou.  

Volunteers were split into five different groups and walked to different areas of the waterway, filling their bags with as much plastic and paper waste as possible. Teams worked together to reach items floating in the water and remove large objects from the marshy areas.  

By the end of the hour, one of the groups had filled their bags and buckets to the brim and in turn, left the trail behind looking much cleaner than before.  

One of the many volunteers voiced why she believes these types of events are so important for our community.   

“Just as a person may dress nicely to feel more confident, a student can excel in this beautiful and healthy environment ULM offers. We must do our part in keeping our lovely community beautiful,” Kianna Rollins, a senior marketing major said.   

She recalls hearing the phrase “Keep Louisiana Beautiful” from a young age and always keeping in mind how critical it is to abide by that.  

According to New Orleans Public Radio, more than 90% of Louisiana’s waterways failed to meet water quality standards.  

This is mostly because of the agricultural pollution and sewage runoff from unmaintained homes and buildings. These specific issues cannot be addressed solely by average citizens; however, the litter flowing through our waterways can.  

Gov. John Bel Edwards commented on the issue of water pollution specifically during a recent press conference on littering. He explained that too often our amazing state loses out on opportunities because our most important resources are sullied with litter.   

Although Louisiana may suffer from many forms of pollution when it comes to our waterways, there are certain ways that individuals in every community can help. 

Being aware of how littering can affect the environment and disposing of trash properly is an easy way to help keep our waterways clean.

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