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Volunteers Needed for Coastwide Cleanups

Volunteers collect debris in a coastal marsh. File photo

The North Carolina Coastal Federation is looking for volunteers for the 2019 Coastwide Cleanup Kickoff set for Jan. 12 in Rodanthe, Atlantic Beach and Morris Landing Clean Water Preserve.

The cleanup will run from 9 a.m. to noon in Rodanthe and is in partnership with Dare County to clean up estuarine shorelines of marine debris. Volunteers should meet at the Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Community Center, 23186 Myrna Peters Road, Rodanthe.

Volunteers are also needed for a shoreline and trail cleanup at Hoop Pole Creek Nature Preserve in Atlantic Beach 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 12. Volunteers are to meet and park at the easternmost section of the Atlantic Station shopping center. Anyone younger than 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

“Our volunteers always do a fabulous job cleaning up the trail and shoreline at the Hoop Pole Creek Nature Preserve,” said Rachel Bisesi, coastal education coordinator at the federation’s Ocean office. “We look forward to meeting them at the site again this January and continuing cleanup efforts throughout the year.”

There is also a shoreline trash cleanup at Morris Landing Clean Water Preserve in Holly Ridge 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 12. The federation is partnering with the North Carolina Coastal Reserve and Keep Onslow Beautiful for the project. Volunteers with kayaks and paddleboards are also welcome to launch from Morris Landing and paddle to the Permuda Island Reserve, located across the Intracoastal Waterway from the Morris Landing site, to remove debris.

“Last year we were able to collect 2,560 pounds of debris, 90 percent of which we were able to recycle,” said Ted Wilgis, coastal education coordinator for the federation, in a statement. “We’re looking forward to partnering with Keep Onslow Beautiful and the North Carolina Coastal Reserve again for this cleanup and highlighting the federation’s Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project supported by the North Carolina General Assembly.”

Volunteers should dress accordingly as these cleanups will take place solely outdoors and wear sturdy, closed-toed shoes for walking in wet areas. Boots are recommended. Trash bags, gloves and other clean up materials will be provided as well as refreshments for all volunteers.

The 2019 Coastal Cleanup Kickoff coincides with the federation’s statewide Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project. Since 2014, the federation has received funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris Program to hire commercial fishermen to recover lost crab pots from the state’s internal coastal waters. The General Assembly appropriated in 2016, 2017 and 2018 additional funding for a statewide expansion of the project. In 2017, 76 commercial watermen worked to collect 3,496 crab pots along the coast.

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Staff Report

The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.