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WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — As the busy beach season comes to an end and tourists return home, locals recruit forces for some fall cleaning.

Volunteers met at Johnnie Mercer's Pier in Wrightsville Beach Saturday morning for the "Big Sweep." They collected cans, cigarette buds, bottles, and more from the sand in an effort to protect and preserve Wrightsville Beach year-round.

"It takes a human touch to come along and take care of the things that collect," said volunteer Robert Stidd. "Some stuff does not biodegrade, so it needs to be picked up and discarded properly. We are here to do that."

For more information on how you can help protect the coast, visit www.keepnhcbeautiful.org.

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