WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) -The Carolina coast is known for its pristine beaches, but one popular spot was riddled with trash.
More than 45 tons of trash and debris were taken from the waters surrounding Topsail Island in a cleanup headed by the North Carolina Coastal Federation. The work was made possible by a $249,000 grant from NOAA to remove debris along the southeast coast.
“We remain amazed by how much debris is out there largely embedded in our coastal environment. Much of this debris is hazardous to wildlife and fish and is an absolute navigational hazard to boaters,” said Tracy Skrabal, southeast regional manager for the federation, in a press release. “Our partnership and support from NOAA’s marine debris program is helping us have a real impact and remove massive amounts of debris.”
Much of the garbage is embedded in marshes and low-traffic coastline and includes everything from styrofoam to damaged piers and abandoned boats from Hurricane Florence.
So far, nearly nine square miles have been cleaned up from the Surf City Bridge to the end of Topsail Beach.
The crews will now move to Wrightsville Beach and Masonboro Sound to clean the area.