On this holiday weekend many of you may be headed to Masonboro Island for some fun in the sun, but all that partying adds up to lots of trash. That's why some local volunteers are spending their holiday weekend making sure a good time on the water doesn't end up being bad for the environment. Bonnie Monteleone isn't boating, floating or sunbathing this holiday weekend, she's handing out trash bags. “Learning about plastics and the oceans and the damage it does to marine life, I've taken it as my personal responsibility to get the word out," said Monteleone. She’s just one of the dozens of volunteers helping the North Carolina Coastal Reserve educate boaters about the dangers of leaving trash on Masonboro Island. "Birds and sea mammals get entangled in the trash. They eat the trash, it goes out into the ocean and causes havoc there,” said Monteleone. In the past, holiday weekends at Masonboro generated lots of trash. According to the North Carolina Coastal Reserve, last Fourth of July generated 1,500 pounds of garbage. Some of it ends up in the water. To help prevent that from happening, for the first time ever, volunteers educate boaters on the dangers of garbage in the ocean and hand out trash bags to discourage littering. Many boaters say it’s an excellent thing and believe it will make a difference on the water. The North Carolina Coastal Reserve hopes this clean-up initiative helps reduce the amount of trash this weekend, but just in case, they are still looking for volunteers to help clean up the trash on Masonboro Island on Tuesday after the weekend of partying. For more information on volunteering during the clean up efforts, call Hope Sutton at (910) 962-2998.
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