The town of Beaufort is the first community in the state to endorse the N.C. Marine Debris Action Plan.
Released in January, the plan lists strategies and actions to prevent and remove marine debris from waters along the North Carolina coast. Rett Newton, the mayor of Beaufort said the town has conducted a widescale cleanup of marine debris since Hurricane Florence.
“The amount of debris going into our waterways is staggering and it’s unsustainable. These cleanup efforts are important. It’s important for the health of our citizens and visitors, it’s important for the health of our ecosystem, and it’s good for commerce,” said Newton.
Over the past two years, the town along with volunteers and environmental groups have removed about 120,000 lbs. of marine debris, 11 derelict vessels, 34 illegal moorings, and seven car tires. Newton said there’s more work to be done. The next clean up event in Beaufort is scheduled for April.
“This [the N.C. Marine Debris Action Plan] will be a great guide to continue these cleanup efforts.”
Newton says marine debris is a problem along the entire North Carolina coast, and he hopes other communities will endorse the N.C. Marine Debris Action Plan.