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Volunteers clean areas in Atlantic Beach

1-20-18 Cleaning up Atlantic Beach.jpg

Boots and gloves were the dress code for many at Atlantic Beach Saturday morning.

As volunteers were getting ready to get their hands dirty to clean up the Hoop Pole Creek Nature Trail.

"I really enjoy getting to do this kind of activity because it's really nice to be able to talk to people, it's a great experience to get to talk about science with a wider group of individuals," volunteer Chequita Brooks said.

Brooks, an ECU biology grad student, says she came with a group of students to not only help the community but fulfill a passion.

"I'm actually studying bacteria and so I've actually taken samples from the salt marsh here and grown some of my bacteria and some of the other students also do some research around here so we like to work with the coastal federation," Brooks said.

The cleanup is a part of numerous events of its kind run by the North Carolina Coastal Federation, a non-profit organization that keeps the coast healthy.

"Nobody wants to go to the beach where there's a lot of trash and litter and it's also important for coastal wildlife and habitats, we don't want our wildlife to get entangled or to ingest any debris that may be harmful to them and cause injury or even death," said Rachel Bisesi, Coastal Education Coordinator N.C. Coastal Federation.

And keeping the beach clean is no easy task as each year the group finds more and more debris, even items you would never expect.

"We found a TV at one of our sites we found twenty dollars at our last cleanup so it's a lot of interesting debris that we find when we do these events," Bisei said..

Officials say leading up to this weekend they've been working with commercial fisherman to remove abandon crab pots in the waterways up and down the coastline.

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