#Hurricane Florence

Ocracoke beach cleanup day scheduled for Saturday morning

Trash collected Tuesday by Sarah Fiore and Brad Yeatman fills the back of their vehicle. Photo by Sarah Fiore

For National Public Lands day Saturday (Sept. 22), the Cape Hatteras National Seashore will host a beach cleanup from 8 a.m. to noon on Ocracoke, Bodie and Hatteras islands.

Even though the Hatteras Ferry is not running due to major damage to N.C. 12 from Hurricane Florence at the north end of the island, whoever is on the island on Saturday is invited to help, said Michael Barber, a spokesman for the Seashore.

Access for visitors via the Swan Quarter ferry only, will begin Friday. At this point, there is no time table on the resumption of the Hatteras and Cedar Island routes.

Beach cleanup volunteers are asked to meet NPS staffers at the Lifeguard Beach parking lot.

Trash bags will be provided. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Volunteers are encouraged to bring leather gloves, water, snacks, and sunscreen. Please wear appropriate clothing, such as closed-toe shoes and hats.

Volunteers will receive a Federal fee-free coupon (while supplies last).

A fee-free coupon provides the volunteer one day of free entry to any participating federal public land, no matter the agency.

Each coupon is good for one day of entrance fee or day use fees until Sept. 28, 2019. At some public lands, this can include accompanying passengers in a car. The coupons cannot be used for parking fees, camping, tours or concessions.

Following the passage of Hurricane Florence, Ocracoke Islanders have been going out to the beach and doing their own trash pick-ups.

Among those, Sarah Fiore and her husband, Brad Yeatman, have made two beach trips in the last few days and yesterday filled the back of their car with all kinds of trash.

“We filled three plastic tubs and a five-gallon bucket,” Fiore said.

“It’s mainly plastic,” Fiore said–beach chairs, plastic bags—you name it.  “Every form of plastic you can imagine. Just stuff.”

Oh, and some unusual finds, such as whole coconuts, she said.

National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer effort for public lands.

For more information on volunteer opportunities at Seashore, visit the Seashore’s volunteer page or call 252-475-9042.