More than 760 top leaders from every corner of the state, including Gov. John Bel Edwards, first lady Donna Edwards and Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, participated in the third annual Leaders Against Litter event on March 18.

Leaders throughout the state started the morning by picking up more than 8,820 pounds of trash, which filled 441 bags and included 5,358 cigarette butts, a news release said. Those attending pledged to preserve and protect Louisiana by agreeing to Stand Up, Speak Up and Pick Up for a litter-free Louisiana.

After the cleanup, Nungesser held a news conference in the State Capitol to announce the results and to call all citizens to do their part to protect and preserve our beautiful state.

In addition to Nungesser, speakers included Executive Director of Volunteer Louisiana Judd Jeansonne, Secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality Chuck Brown, Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Development Shawn Wilson, Commissioner of Agriculture Mike Strain, State Police Capt. Doug Cain and Keep Louisiana Beautiful board and advisory board members Andy Johnson, Susan Strain, Jean Kelly, Venise Ortego and Phyllis Darensbourg.

“This event was a huge success, and we are grateful for the exceptional support displayed by our state’s top leadership and our state agency partners. We are especially thankful to the governor, Mrs. Edwards and the lieutenant governor for their participation. Keep Louisiana Beautiful effectively raised awareness about Louisiana’s litter problem while also taking strides to improve it,” said KLB Executive Director Susan Russell.

Twenty Keep Louisiana Beautiful affiliates participated, including Baton Rouge, East Feliciana and Hammond.

Affiliates will be conducting community-wide cleanups through May. To get involved in the next cleanup, visit www.keeplouisianabeautiful.org.

Keep Louisiana Beautiful Inc. is the state’s anti-litter and community improvement organization focused on education, enforcement, awareness and cleanups.