Boaters are familiar with the term "no wake" zone. In the future in Wrightsville Beach there may be no discharge zones as well. Essentially, boaters would need to discharge their human waste in approved areas and there would likely be a cost associated with this. As dirty an issue as it is, town manager Bob Simpson says it's probably worth tackling: "Obviously we're all concerned about water quality and I think we have some movements afoot to try some things to ensure that the future water quality is preserved around the town of Wrightsville Beach." Dr. Mike Mallin is a research professor with the UNCW Center for Marine Science. He has data that backs up the flushing boaters. "We have found that there are human sources of human fecal bacteria pollution in these waters and most of these areas have been around boat docking areas which tells us that probably some people have been out there who have been dumping the heads from their boats into the water." The material is pathogenic and it could cause disease to swimmers, kayakers or water skiers in the area. Dr. Mallin also says if boaters have to discharge, then it's best to do it in unpopulated areas, but apparently that's not being followed in Wrightsville Beach. "We found evidence of this sort of pollution where you see large boats that are docked for quite a long period of time and we've seen here at the public boat ramp as well." Even if the town of Wrightsville Beach gets their wish, the approval process for banning human waste discharge on boats could take up to a year and a half in order to work through red tape.
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