Staff photo by Emmy Errante
The Wrightsville Beach Longboard Association keeps Public Beach Access No. 28 clean as part of the Wrightsville Beach Adopt-A-Beach Access program.
Local organizations and families of Wrightsville Beach and the surrounding area take time each month to lend a hand and pick up trash at designated beach accesses.
Currently, eight of 44 beach accesses are available through the town of Wrightsville Beach Adopt-A-Beach Access program.
Katie Ryan, Wrightsville Beach Parks and Recreation program supervisor, said the department asks people who participate regularly in the program to continue each year and most of the spots are usually full.
“There’s a few of them that participate regularly and provide us a list of what they find, and we kind of keep track of what’s going on, what’s out there and then if there’s anything big that someone needs to have picked up … they let us know …,” Ryan said. “We ask that they do it on a regular basis, maybe once a month or just let us know when they can do it and then we know how active it’s being handled.”
The program began in 1993 to help make the beach a beautiful, clean and safe place for residents and guests to enjoy.
“We can always use more hands to go out and clean up an access especially during the busy season,” Ryan said.
Along with private families, organizations such as the Wrightsville Beach Longboard Association, Laney High School Surf Club and Wrightsville Beach School participate in the program.
WBLA vice president John Sideris said the organization became involved in the program three years ago, and the goals of the program mirror the group’s philosophy.
“That’s part of our outreach,” Sideris said. “That’s what we’re all about; surfers helping surfers, reaching out to our community. … We’re doing it for ourselves as well as everybody else.”
He said the organization moved from an access located on the north end of Wrightsville Beach to access No. 28, because it is more of a surfing area and more of the public walk down Oceanic Street on a regular basis.
“We feel like we can really contribute to the town of Wrightsville Beach by keeping that area clean,” Sideris said. “Basically you’re just policing the area to make sure there’s no trash left over from the night before. … When you first get up in the morning to go see that beautiful sunrise then you have a clean beach.”
The department provides trash bags and gloves if necessary. Items typically found on the beach include cigarette butts, bottles, cans, paper cups and occasionally tires.
“Our credo is ‘leave it the way you found it,’” Sideris said.