This article is maintained as a discussion forum for the annual Carteret Big Sweep in participation with International Coastal Cleanup Day in NC which encourages businesses and residents to coordinate around cleaning trash and litter from area beaches, waterways, sounds, and roads in Carteret County NC.
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International Cleanup Day is a annual global movement where participants from coastal communities coordinate and work together around ocean conservancy, water quality, healthy habitats, and other conservation measures.
The 2020 event takes place on September 19th. Contact Dee Smith at 252-222-6352 to learn more about this year’s efforts, or to prepare for future events.
Why Is Coastal Cleanup Important At NC Beaches?
While the International Cleanup Day movement is important across all communities globally and along other communities along NC beaches, here is Carteret County NC we have a very valued coastline that many people across the world come to visit annually to enjoy places like Shackleford Banks, Cape Lookout, the communities of Bogue Sound, and the barrier islands that make up Core Sound, North River, and South River.
For most locals in the county, waterways along the Newport River, Neuse River, and the Pamlico Sound are very much treasured resources for recreation, fishing, research, and conservation.
Simply put, it is impossible to maintain these resources when trash and litter builds up over time and begins to affect the environment in negative ways. Without this annual event, local municipalities and other organizations and groups that are geared towards local water quality and ocean conservancy will have an overwhelming problem that could take much of the year to correct.
The answer to correcting this human problem is for businesses and locals to come together one day out of the year to crowd source cleanup efforts and to celebrate our coastal heritage.
Additionally, this movement is a great way for families to spend time with their children and teach them about recycling, local habitats, living shorelines, the many local ecosystems that drive tourism and our economy, and how to protect many vulnerable species that require good water quality and a safe environment to thrive.
Teaching children about these efforts are incredibly important to their growth as global stewards of the environment.
Furthermore, there is another potential problem looming just down the road.
As Interstate 42 and the Havelock bypass are completed, estimates show that the Carteret County NC beaches and waterways within our area sounds and rivers could easily double in population and visitor traffic. This is significant because while the population of humans will increase, our land masses will not. This means more and more humans will be packed in to area natural resources.
Thus, local organizations like Carteret Big Sweep and Crystal Coast Waterkeepers will need greater resources from the local community to meet this goal of cleaning the coastline and maintaining our world-renowned beaches, waterways, and natural resources like Shackleford Banks and Cape Lookout.
The negative affects to commercial fishing and the many bays and estuaries that make up the down east communities near Harkers Island and Cedar Island is of utmost importance as well. Commercial fishing in Carteret County is a very big part of our economy, culture, and heritage.
Use the discussion form below to let us know your thoughts on Carteret Big Sweep.