The National Park Service and the North Carolina Beach Buggy Association joined forces on Saturday, April 21, to perform an island-wide clean-up of popular beach spots and local ORV ramps on Hatteras Island.
“The NCBBA hosts several beach clean-ups per year, and they’ve been doing this for more than three decades,” said Cape Hatteras National Seashore Superintendent David Hallac. “It’s an amazing demonstration of their love and care for the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.”
“What’s neat about this weekend is that we coordinated closely, and co-held our clean-ups at Coquina Beach and the Lighthouse Beach, so we got an incredible amount of cleaning done.”
NPS staff, NCBBA members, and other volunteers all tackled different areas of the shoreline during the Operation Beach Respect, with dozens of folks pitching in to join in the effort.
“It was very successful,” said Hallac. “We had some large groups show up at the lighthouse to help. The NCBBA concentrated on the off-road vehicle ramps, and we concentrated on these two sites, and we were able to generate a lot of clean up power… we were really impressed with [the turnout.]”
Operation Beach Respect has been going strong for 34 years, and was also held in conjunction with the Adopt-a-Highway Clean Up, which occurred along N.C. Highway 12 between Ramps 2-4.
In addition to the NCBBA regular clean-ups, which are typically held 3-4 times per year, Hallac noted that the Outer Banks Preservation Association has been another solid partner in pitching in to keep the beaches clean.
“The [OBPA] has been sponsoring messaging and signs for the ‘Pack it in, Pack it out’ campaign, and a lot of people have been noticing these signs and picking up their brochures. We recognize their role in getting the message out on keeping the beaches [continually] clean,” he said.
With beautiful and breezy weather, and a strong turnout at multiple sites, the day’s clean-up was a solid success, with pristine beaches left behind by the teams of volunteers. “It was an amazing job, and we got a lot accomplished,” said Hallac. “When it comes to keeping the beaches clean, it takes a village”.