America’s Boating Club of the Crystal Coast helps NPS clean at Cape Lookout

Volunteers with America’s Boating Club of the Crystal Coast load a boat March 4 with collected debris washed up on Shackleford Banks at Cape Lookout National Seashore.  (Contributed photo)

Editor's note: This article was updated at 9:50 a.m. Thursday, June 25, 2020, to include a photo.

HARKERS ISLAND — America’s Boating Club of the Crystal Coast partnered with the National Park Service at Cape Lookout National Seashore this spring to clean up and remove debris left by hurricanes Florence and Dorian.

Members met in March at park headquarters to load an all-terrain vehicle, trash bags and containers on a park service landing craft medium.

NPS biologist Dr. Sue Stuska was the overall operational volunteer supervisor, working with ABC Commander David Gerhart and Executive Officer David Aitken.  

According to the ABC, the NPS at Cape Lookout has no formal cleanup program.

“However, America’s Boating Club of the Crystal Coast executed a volunteer service activity agreement with the NPS and adopted a large area around Gehrman’s Pond Trail (Wade Shore area) of Shackelford Banks,” the club said. “The squadron members made several trips over time in member boats to Shackelford and collected, removed and bagged trash.”

Mr. Gerhart said in the club’s press release that after unloading at Harkers Island, it was estimated the volunteers may have removed as much as 5 tons of debris.

“There is still plenty of smaller debris, and it washes up daily,” he said. “We encourage all boaters to join the effort and pick up some debris every time they visit anywhere on our seashore.”

This isn’t the first time the club has collected trash at Cape Lookout. In October 2019, club members collected large items and wood debris and created piles near the beach for later pickup.

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