a quiet Wednesday morning, representatives from the Outer Banks
Preservation Association (OBPA), the North Carolina Beach Buggy
Association (NCBBA) and the National Park Service (NPS) gathered
together at Ramp 43 in Buxton to unveil the first sign of a new
campaign aimed at addressing the trash problem on the beaches.
lightly attended, the launch of the “Pack it In, Pack it Out” program
represented months of effort on the parts of both the NPS and the OBPA,
and was a symbolic event that linked the two organizations in a
is a symbolic day that represents a culmination [of our partnership]
with the Outer Banks Preservation Association,” said Cape Hatteras
National Seashore Superintendent David Hallac at the unveiling. “…We’re
so excited that OBPA is helping us take the next step in the ‘Pack it
In, Pack it Out’ campaign.”
campaign began months ago when OBPA ambassador Pat Weston approached
Hallac with an idea for a potential partnership to get the word out
about leaving trash behind on the beaches.
with OBPA, the NPS will be installing signs at all oceanside and
soundside beach accesses between Coquina Beach and Ocracoke indicating
that visitors need to take out whatever they take in.
addressing the small crowd, Hallac outlined the need for such an
initiative, noting that 4 million pounds of trash was removed from the
Cape Hatteras National Seashore last year, which included 240,000
pounds of trash from the beaches alone.
effort to clean up the beaches was also a costly one. Last year, the
Cape Hatteras National Seashore spent $231,000 on a dumpster contract,
and an additional $183,000 on trash management – for efforts like
picking up trash or emptying trash cans.
“[Roughly] $415,000 was simply spent on the trash problem,” said Hallac.
also praised the organizations that regularly assisted with beach
cleanup – including the North Carolina Coastal Federation, the NCBBA,
the Avon Property Owners Association, and the hundreds of volunteers
who help, and added that this new campaign was a welcome next step.
Scarborough [of OBPA] and Pat Weston put an amazing effort into this,
and we can’t get the signs up fast enough,” he said.
addition to the simple and easy-to-read signs, postcards will also be
available at local businesses and NPS visitors center that spell out
the details of what it means to ‘Pack it in, Pack it out.’”
includes removing all beach chairs, canopies, umbrellas, and other
equipment at the end of the day, as well as picking up other trash
that’s spotted along the beach.
campaign orchestrator Pat Weston also spoke at the unveiling, agreeing
that the event carried more weight than the introduction of the new
sign at Ramp 43 itself.
by the Outer Banks Preservation Association, it is a collaborative
effort between the National Park Service and OBPA, partnering together
to promote an idea that is beneficial to all,” she said.
choose to lead by example. We’ve left the age of ‘Don’t do this,’ [and
have entered] the age of ‘Do this.’ No more circles with lines through
She also thanked David Hallac, “who shows us every day that beach access and resource preservation can co-exist.’”
Scarborough of OBPA echoed Weston’s gratitude for the partnership, and
highlighted the need of the program. “All of us have an affection for
the Outer Banks and the beauty of it… and we’ve all been here often
enough [to have seen] stuff on the beach that doesn’t belong there.”
goal is to preserve and protect, and this project is in-line with that
goal,” said Scarborough. “Preserve and protect is what will make our
National Seashore valuable for us, and for generations to come.”
explaining the partnership and the campaign, the OBPA and NPS
representatives pulled away a cardboard barrier to expose the new brown
sign at the edge of Ramp 43. More signs will follow at all the beach
accesses on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, and will be a subtle
but welcome addition that will remind all beach-goers to leave nothing
behind but footprints.
always liked the idea of being a partner instead of being at odds,”
said John Couch, President of OBPA. “This gives us an opportunity to
[help] the park in our own hometown, and to be a partner with the
current NPS administration.”
“They’ve gone above and beyond, and we want to be a part of that. We want to be a partner.”