The National Association of Counties (NACo) recognized Pender County’s BEach Clean program, which is an important environmental initiative in the Topsail region, with an Achievement Award. This award acknowledges the program’s inventive and influential methods in preserving the cleanliness and sustainability of our beaches, rivers, and waterways.
Collaborative Efforts Towards a Cleaner Environment
According to Pender County Tourism Director Tammy Proctor, the Beach Clean program was made possible through successful collaboration between Pender County, Topsail Island Shoreline Protection Commission, Topsail Beach, Surf City, North Topsail Beach, and Onslow County Tourism.
The themed message behind the BEach Clean program reminds us all to “Be Clean.”
A Commitment to Sustainable Coastal Living
The program is designed to educate residents and visitors alike about the importance of sustainable practices in coastal areas.
The enthusiastic response to the program during a conference in 2022, as shared by Topsail Beach Mayor Steve Smith, underscored the pressing need for such initiatives.
The widespread positive feedback confirmed the effectiveness of the program in addressing environmental concerns.
The program reminds residents and visitors to the area to keep the following in mind:
- Do not bring any glass items to the beach.
- Do not bring plastic bags or single-use plastic items to the beach.
- Fill in the holes we made while digging, building sandcastles, or playing before leaving the beach area.
- Remove beach furniture from the beach at the end of the day.
- Pick up all of your trash and use disposal bins available in parking areas.
- Cleaning up after dogs by disposing of their waste.
The NACo Achievement Award: A Mark of Excellence
The NACo Achievement Award, which was created in 1970, recognizes county government programs that show innovation and efficiently serve residents. The award is judged in 18 categories that reflect the various services counties offer, including children and youth, criminal justice, public safety, county administration, information technology, health, and civic engagement.
Beach Clean Program: Leaving No Trace
The Beach Clean program aims to leave the beach in its original state by implementing a “leave no trace” policy, which includes using trash containers, avoiding glass usage on the beach, responsible pet ownership, avoiding balloon releases on the beach, and advocating for reduced plastic use.
The objective is to reduce the adverse effects on wildlife, such as the damage caused by plastic debris floating in the sea to sea turtles and other creatures.