Masonboro Island sees thousands of partiers and loads of trash

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Thousands of people gathered on Masonboro Island today for a 4th of July celebration that’s become a Cape Fear tradition.

Every year the uninhabited island is home to some of the area’s most raucous celebrations and plenty of leftover trash.

This has led volunteer group to form a tradition of its own. Volunteers set up a tent on the island each 4th of July, and go around cleaning up trash left behind by partiers. president Tom Hackler says their mission is to preserve the island for future generations.

“This got started nine years ago when there was a big party over here and a lot of trash was left behind. A couple of us realized this could potentially impact our ability to come over to this island, so we cleaned up that year, and we’ve done it every year since,” said Hackler.

Hackler says people are pretty good about throwing away their trash early in the day, but as the day goes on, things start to get left behind.

“They’re young, and we can all relate to being young, and trash might be the last thing on their minds at the end of the day. They’re taking their possessions. They’re trying to collect their phones, their wallets, maybe their coolers, their beach chairs. And they may just decide to leave their trash behind unfortunately,” said Hackler.

Hackler says they typically remove around 5,000 pounds of trash at the end of the day, thanks to a dumpster donated by Waste Management.

Categories: Local, New Hanover