MASONBORO ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — Masonboro Island was packed with beach goers Thursday afternoon in celebration of the 4th of July. That means a ton of trash was left behind.
That’s where volunteers with masonboro.org come in— they pick up whatever gets left behind.
Ten years ago masonboro.org was formed to assemble volunteers to clean up the uninhabited island after major holidays.
Their goal is to prevent unnecessary restrictions being implemented on the island so everyone can continue to enjoy it.
Volunteer Linda Harootyan explained why their work is so imperative
“We’ll lose access and it’s just a treasure,” Harootyan said. “It’s really important. I’m fairly new to this area but I really appreciate the sea life and the islands and everything that we need to preserve and make sure that they’re kept in good shape.”
Ashton Whitley took it upon herself to clean up the island on her own time.
She walked around with a trash bag and even brought her own reusable straws to protect the turtles.
“I’m really passionate about just keeping our beaches clean,” Whitley said. “Everybody loves to enjoy them, everybody loves to be on them. We don’t wanna see trash or anything like that. Have a happy 4th of July but make sure you clean up after yourself afterwards.”
Masonboro.org’s president Tom Hackler said the amount of work the volunteers have to do goes down each year.
He believes that is partially due to the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office presence.
“We’ve got a nice crowd of young folks out here,” Hackler said. “The behavior so far seems to be very good. I’m very impressed. They seem to be behaving themselves, picking up their trash.”
These volunteers said that it isn’t just about maintaining the island, it’s a bonding experience among them each year.