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Big Sweep waterway cleanup needs volunteers

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Join hundreds of volunteers throughout New Hanover County on Saturday, Sept. 29 for Big Sweep, an annual cleanup of our waterways. The event will be held at 9 a.m. at Johnnie Mercer's Pier at Wrightsville Beach and the boathouse at Greenfield Lake.

Volunteers are needed! Refreshments will be provided and prizes will be given for the most unusual item found and the most trash collected by an individual or group. Parking will be free for volunteers at Wrightsville Beach; please report to the gazebo near Johnny Mercer's Pier to receive a parking pass and instructions. Wrightsville Beach volunteers should note that a triathlon is the same day and watch for athletes while driving to Mercer's Pier. Please come prepared to be outdoors and wear sturdy closed-toe shoes and clothes that can get dirty.

This annual cleanup of our waterways removes litter, which is not only unattractive, but can threaten drinking water, provide habitat for rodents and mosquitoes and can be deadly to wildlife that eats or becomes entangled in the debris.

Big Sweep began as a beach sweep in 1987 and is now an annual statewide event. Since its inception more than 192,000 volunteers have retrieved over six million pounds of debris from North Carolina's waterways. The Sept. 29 event is part of the International Coastal Cleanup that involves approximately 90 countries and 55 estates and territories.

For more information please call Keep America Beautiful of New Hanover County at 798-4404 or 512-6820 or visit http://ncbigsweep.org/.

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