Beach keepers clean up Crystal Coast after Fourth of July

PINE KNOLL SHORES, N.C. (WNCT)–A group of volunteers is leaving beaches along the Crystal Coast better than they found them.

Monday, dozens of folks turned out for the 10th annual beach keepers’ clean-up event at Pine Knoll Shores.

The clean-up is held after the Independence Day holiday every year. Folks of all ages and from across the country say the cleanup not only improves the environment but helps the economy by keeping tourist destinations pristine.

“We have lived here for a long time and we see all this trash people leave,” said Jan Shank, a resident for 20 years. “I think this is great. We just need to do it more often.”

Beach keepers split up into groups along the beach.

Some good news, people say the amount of trash they’re finding from year to year is decreasing

“Our visitors are wonderful and every year for the past ten years we have seen a big decline in trash pickup each year,” said John Brodman, town commissioner. “People are getting more and more responsible.”

Resident volunteers say it’s a personal mission.

“Some people we’ve met here they do it when they’re walking,” said Vera Hegmann, a resident for three years. “They take a garbage bag with them but you really get a lot of trash. We just need to get more volunteers to go throughout the year more often, not just after holidays.”

And for those heading to the Crystal Coast for a visit, the beach keepers offer one reminder, please get rid of your trash properly and only leave behind your footprints.

Volunteers also cleaned up the beach at Fort Macon State Park on Monday.

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