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WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — With the 4th of July holiday quickly approaching, folks making their way to North Carolina beaches are making a good decision. The 2011 US Beach Report ranked the Tar Heel State’s beaches seventh out of the 30 coastal and Great Lakes states.

North Carolina strives to keep its beaches clean, and it consistently earns quality ratings in the report.

“I think it shows that it’s a natural resource for residents of the state, and state governments and local governments do a lot to maintain the integrity of our beaches and cleanliness,” Wrightsville Beach Public Works Director Mike Vukelich said.

North Carolina relies on clean beaches for the tourism industry. The 2011 US Beach Report shows that the state’s hard work has paid off. Although none of the state’s beaches were awarded a “Superstar” beach title, the state consistently receives quality rankings.

Wrightsville Beach is one of many North Carolina beaches that was ranked. Without the devotion of the town and the community, the beach may not be in as good of shape.

“We try to advocate more for people to clean up their trash and clean up after themselves, so we leave only footprints,” said Nick McAndrew of Sweetwater Surf Shop in Wrightsville Beach.

McAndrew says his store and other groups do all they can to keep the sand stellar. He says he thinks people should be conscious of their impact on the environment.

“We sponsor a lot of beach cleanups around here,” he said. “We usually do one around July 4, because a lot of people come to the beach, and a lot of people leave trash on the beach. That’s just kind of one of those things: you’ve got to clean it up. You gotta make sure that our beaches stay clean and stay beautiful.”

The Beach Report says a clean beach is not only good for the environment but also for the economy.

Wrightsville Beach Public Works says with many people visiting the area this weekend, the town will have its clean up work cut out for them. Volunteers also plan to hand out trash bags for visitors to Masonboro Island, which is typically especially messy after the holiday weekend.


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