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Marine Debris Program Funded Project Releases Video on Debris Removal Accomplishments

JUNE 15, 2020 — In 2018, the Town of Beaufort in North Carolina began to clean up marine debris in the waters around the Town and the Rachel Carson Reserve with the support of a NOAA Marine Debris Program Marine Debris Removal Grant.

Abandoned vessels on a beach.
Abandoned vessels removed from Beaufort’s waterways. Image credit: Town of Beaufort, North Carolina.

Marine debris, such as improperly secured boats, sunken vessels, illegal and often abandoned moorings, and derelict fishing gear originating from the harbor areas, could be found along the Rachel Carson Reserve and Town waterfronts. These large debris items are almost impossible for staff and volunteers to move by hand, and they can also contain hazardous materials and cause damage to sensitive areas, such as marsh grasses and oyster beds.  

Supported by Sarah Latshaw, the Southeast Regional Coordinator for the MDP, the Town partnered with the North Carolina Coastal Reserve, Atlantic Coast Marine Group, and BoatUS Foundation to remove medium and large debris items. Together they removed almost 127,000 pounds of debris, including 11 abandoned vessels. Smaller debris items were also removed by citizens, state employees, students, and corporate volunteers from the local hospitality and financial industries. The project team created a short film to share the cleanup experience with other waterfront communities, which can be viewed here.

This community-led effort protects the local wildlife, water quality, and habitat, and also opens navigational channels and improves the beauty and access to recreation in the Town and Rachel Carson Reserve waters. The NOAA Marine Debris Program is proud to support this effort. 

For more information about this project, please contact

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Last updated Wednesday, February 17, 2021 2:44pm PST