ONLY ON 3: Stop sign warns against littering the beach


SURF CITY, NC (WWAY) — As the busy vacation season gets underway, one beach town is seeing some unusual warning signs about littering.

Someone has taken to one of Surf City’s stop signs to warn others about trash.

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When visitor Jessica Montunnas goes to Surf City on vacation, she does not want to see trash on the beach.

“Cigarettes butts,” Montunnas said. “I see them everywhere.”

She said she knows not to leave trash on the beach.

“For obvious reasons right?” Montunnas asked.

Surf City Tourism Director Allan Libby said not everyone follows in those foot steps.

“It’s sad and like I said it’s not unique to Topsail,” Libby said. “We have the problem all over the place.”

This stop sign may be unique to Topsail.

“I’ve seen the, ‘Stop laying that trash’ bumper sticker about a half dozen times over the last 3 years,” Libby said.

He said the sign on the stop sign by the pier comes and goes.

“Occassionally, I’ll post it to Facebook as a reminder and it always gains huge traction,” Libby said.

He said it shows how much the locals care.

“I’ve seen locals, usually young people, get a little bit caddy and if they see someone disposing of trash improperly, they’ll get in their face and say, ‘Hey! Pick that up,'” Libby said.  “People will look kind of puzzled and then they’ll say, ‘ Pick it up. This is my beach.'”

Libby said the trash cannot be left on the beach and neither can holes.

“People come to the beach to dig in the sand,” Libby said. “I don’t care if you’re 3, 30 or 90. People enjoy digging in the sand.”

At the end of the day though, Libby said the holes must be filled.

“People can fall in the hole if they’re walking the beach at night, and equally important when the sea turtles come into nest, they can fall in that hole and they can’t get out,” Libby said.

Meanwhile, the anonymous sign comes and goes reminding people to help.

“The director of the Sea Turtle rescue Jean Beasley always says, ‘We use this planet sometimes like we have another one and we don’t,'” Libby said.

The town patrols the beach for littering including leaving a tent or umbrella out after sunset. Violations can result in a $50 fine.

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