Coming by kayak or by boat, over sixty volunteers set out on a mission to get one Cape Fear island clean. The island, known plainly as Island Number 13, is one of many to become infested with trash in the Cape Fear River. Kemp Burdette of Cape Fear River Watch said, “Today we want to get this island clean, the overall goal is to get every one of these river islands cleaned up and just work our way up and down the river until this trash isn't here.” But where does the garbage come from? “It washes up. Anything that goes in the river, goes out with the tide and in with the tide. So, somebody throws a bottle in the river up in Fayetteville, it can eventually make its way down here,” said Burdette. The river islands are the perfect places to catch trash and the tide washes garbage onto their shores, but campers are culprits too. Burdette added, “They leave more than their footprints. They come over and they go camping and they have a great time. They're coming over here to enjoy nature and enjoy the beauty of the river and they leave their trash behind.” The event is one of many cleanups organized by the Cape Fear River Watch, whose mission is to keep the river clean. But you can do your part. “We really encourage people to bring some trash bags when you come to camp and take your trash home - and maybe take a bit extra, take some you didn't bring,” Burdette said. We don't have this year's totals yet, but a similar clean-up last year collected more than 1,500 pounds of trash. The Cape Fear River Watch holds a clean up event each month.
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