Kure Beach begins Adopt-A-Beach program

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Kure Beach Fishing Pier on K Ave. File photo by Hannah Leyva.
Volunteers can sign up to clean up parts of Kure Beach, including the areas on either side of the fishing pier. Photo by Hannah Leyva.

The Town of Kure Beach has started an Adopt-a-Beach program to help keep its shores as clean as possible.

Similar to Adopt-a-Highway programs seen across the country, individuals and groups have the opportunity to choose a portion of the beach to maintain for a certain length of time.

According to Kerry Garrigan, the program’s administrator, the idea came about when the town’s Shoreline Access, Beach Protection and Parking Committee noticed there was more and more trash left on the beach and wanted to do something about it. That’s when the idea to start an Adopt-A-Beach program was brought up.

“As Kure Beach gets more and more popular, garbage on the beach becomes a bigger issue,” said Garrigan, who noted that Wrightsville Beach and Oak Island are the two nearest towns with similar programs. “The town can only do so much, and resources are limited.”

Garrigan said volunteers are expected to walk their part of the beach once or twice a week in the off-season and every day during the busy summer months.

The beach is divided up into 17 different parcels, each in conjunction with a beach access. Every portion begins where the access number matching the parcel is located and ends at the next beach access to the south.

“Though we haven’t done much publicity yet, we already have six beach parts adopted,” Garrigan said.

Not all the areas are equal in size, but participants can choose which part they want to adopt. On the program’s website, which went live two weeks ago, a map shows which parts have already been spoken for, but Garrigan said that shouldn’t stop people from choosing those locations if they really want them.

“More than one person or group can adopt a portion of the beach,” Garrigan said, noting that adopters can choose to sign up to do the program in increments of 30, 60, 90, 180 and 365 days. “Some people can only do it for a short amount of time, so we encourage as many people to sign up as possible.”

Volunteers are expected to bring their own garbage bags, gloves and any other tools they may need to help them clean their area. Organizers are also looking for feedback from those cleaning the beach about everything from which locations need more trash and recycling bins to what areas have the most deep holes dug into the sand (which is a safety hazard). Garrigan said the subcommittee running the program will be reaching out to school, church and other civic-minded groups or those looking to get service hours to help start the program off strong in its first year.

“We’re really trying to keep the beach as beautiful as it needs to be,” said Garrigan.

To learn more specifics about the program, including guidelines, frequently asked questions, a map of the beach areas available for adoption and how to sign up, visit the program’s website at www.kbadoptabeach.com.

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