CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY)-- Kevin Murphy has been picking up trash in the Cape Fear area for years. He's a fifth grade teacher at St. Mary's and the director of the non-profit organization, Ocean Cure. Three years ago, he decided to start the "90 Days to Earth Day" challenge. More and more kids are joining every year.
"Hopefully this year will be a hundred or more," Murphy says. "You know, my dream is at least 1,000 participants. It's a big number, but I have a dream."
From January 22 to April 22, students from kindergarten through twelfth grade will help clean up, focusing on the waterways. Murphy estimates they've collected a total of two and half tons of litter over the past two years.
Though every little bit helps, one local student has gone above and beyond expectations. Megan Durns has won the competition twice. She says her motivation for picking up trash is simple.
"Dolphins. Every time I go surfing, I look for dolphins," Durns says. "Either before or after I go surfing, I take about twenty minutes going around the beach picking up trash."
Durns has won thousands of dollars in prizes for her efforts over the past two years, but this year, she says winning isn't her goal.
"I'm hoping someone will beat me this year," says Durns. "I kind of hope there will be a younger kid coming along and beating one of the older kids."