Let's talk trash

Being good stewards of our natural resources

Pender County Tourism joined forces with the Topsail Island Shoreline Protection Commission and the Greater Topsail Area Chamber of Commerce to discuss a trashy problem – plastics, glass, trash, and marine debris on our beaches, in our waterways, and on our beaches.

We have a problem, and you can help us.

We are asking visitors and locals alike to think twice about the items we all bring to the beach – especially loose items that wind and water will carry away.

While we’re talking about loose items that wind and water carry away, these same trashy suggestions apply to the items left in the rear of pick-up trucks and in boats.

Why do we frown upon plastic grocery bags and balloons on the beaches and on our boats? The answer is simple. Wildlife sees the floating trash and they think it is food. A floating plastic bag bobs and floats like a jellyfish.

Trash receptacles are spaced near beach accesses. Please use them.

Why do we encourage filling holes on the beach? The answer is multiple choice – to keep an evening walker from breaking a leg and to keep from stranding a sea turtle who may get trapped in the hole.

Why do we turn off our beachfront porch and deck lights at night? Turtles are guided by moonlight. When other lights burn, the turtles become disoriented. This is especially important during turtle nesting season. Turtle mamas come ashore to deliver their eggs, and return to the ocean, guided by lights of the night sky.

We are responsible for raising awareness and being good stewards of our natural resources.

We are urging our visitors and residents to leave the glass bottles at home. Glass is prohibited on the beach.

But this isn’t just a beach problem. The trash along our roads, our rivers, our creeks, is something all of us need to address. While the great outdoors is our fun recreation, there are no amusement park workers following behind with a broom to pick up our trash.

Let’s be good stewards of the beauty that we have in Pender County, a land in which we are rich in natural resources.

Thank you for talking trash with us!