Beaufort to Endorse Marine Debris Action Plan

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A sunken yacht sits against the Grayden Paul Bridge in Gallants Channel in Beaufort a few days after Hurricane Dorian hit the area in September, 2019. (Shawne Cooper photo)

The Town of Beaufort will read a resolution in support of the recently released NC Marine Debris Action Plan at 3:45 pm Monday on the steps of Town Hall.

The plan outlines a strategy aimed at coordinating efforts to tackle the marine debris problem – including preventing debris, removing debris, and educating citizens about the issue.

“Over the years, various programs and projects have been implemented in North Carolina to help prevent and remove marine debris; however, no single agency or program coordinates coastwide marine debris management efforts,” the action plan states.

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Marine debris is defined by state statute as, “any persistent solid material that is manufactured or processed and directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally, disposed of or abandoned into the marine environment,” and includes derelict (abandoned) vessels.”

The issue has been ongoing in and around Beaufort waters, and is often worsened by storms and tropical systems. Derelict vessels sunk or grounded by hurricanes Florence and Dorian still litter Carteret County waters.

“Over the past two years, we have conducted a massive cleanup of our Beaufort waterways, but there is still a lot of work to do,” Beaufort Mayor Rett Newton said. “This will be a reinforcement of our desire to reduce and eliminate marine debris.”

Newton said Beaufort is the first community to actively endorse the plan.

In case of rain, the reading of the resolution will take place inside the Cape Lookout National Park Visitors Center adjacent to Town Hall.

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