About 75 volunteers spent their Fourth of July picking up after partiers on Masonboro Island.
Every Independence Day, the barrier island off Wilmington is invaded by hundreds of revelers.
"It's one day a year that it gets like this," said Jack Kilbourne, co-founder of Masonboro.org, a group formed to "protect public access, promote responsible use and preserve the traditions of Masonboro Island."
He explains much of the trash is left by people who are dropped off at the island.
"They pay someone $20. They come over in a boat with a cooler full of beer and when they're done drinking it, the last thing on their mind when they're trying to find a way home is, ‘oh, I better get my trash,'" Kilbourne said.
So for the past five years, volunteers from Masonboro.org have worked shifts on the Fourth, handing out garbage bags and picking up cans.
At the end of the day, they ferry the trash back to the mainland – enough to fill four dumpsters.
"Most all of our volunteers come over and visit the island during the other 364 days a year, and we just don't want any additional regulations to prevent our use of the island," Kilbourne said.
Although picking up trash may not be on the minds of many of the partiers, some say they are thankful for the volunteers.
"When you get off the boat, when you get dropped off, they hand you a bag," said Jason Minnicozzi, as he lounged in a beach chair. "They make it very easy to be responsible, so it's a huge help."
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