20 Apr 2023
Happy Earth Day from your friends at Midgett Realty! We believe that Earth Day is EVERYDAY and as your Hatteras Island host, we’d love to ask for your help in keeping our beaches clean. Below you’ll find some simple ways you can do just that!
HOW TO CONTRIBUTE IN KEEPING OUR BEACHES CLEAN
Pack It In, Pack It Out:
If you’re used to traveling to neighboring beaches, you’re probably familiar with the popular practice of leaving equipment on the beach to claim one’s spot for the following day(s). On Hatteras Island, this practice is not allowed, and great news, with 70 miles of seashore and plenty of room to spread out, it’s also not needed! But let’s get down to the skinny of it and really dig in. In the past few years, we have seen some unsavory habits from other beaches become more commonplace because folks are generally used to a different type of travel than the Hatteras Island experience. We call them “bad habits” because they don’t contribute to keeping our beaches pristine, in fact, they do the opposite. As such, the Cape Hatteras National Seashore has partnered with the Outer Banks Preservation Association (OBPA) in a pack it in, pack it out program, which is to help educate folks and let them know that what is brought onto the beach should be brought off the beach at the end of each day. That means all trash, leftover food, litter AND beach equipment!
Leaving your trash, food and litter are the more obvious no-no’s, but beach equipment too? Correct. Breakdown and remove any and all structures and furniture (tents, beach chairs, umbrellas, etc) at the end of each day. But why? Unlike other areas, those items are not to be left overnight on either the beaches OR dunes as they are hazardous to both humans and wildlife. Additionally, the tides can easily surprise you, swiping your items out to sea, which would effectively turn your beach gear into litter, and no one wants that!
Fill In Your Holes:
Other hazards that never even cross people’s minds are holes. Please remember just to fill in any holes/trenches that were created by your party. People often enjoy the beaches at night and can’t always see the 3’ deep hole that little Sally dug to bury Uncle Bill, which could easily cause bodily harm, and again, become hazardous to wildlife.
See It, Snag It:
If you’re walking about and happen to see a stray piece of trash like a water bottle or an old can, snag it and trash it (or recycle it if the situation allows), especially if you’re on the beach and already have a designated trash bag. While it may seem like picking up one piece of trash may not do a whole lot, it will make an impact if we all do the same.
Excuse me, what? Yup, it's a thing. Light pollution is essentially any artificial light in the night environment. What every person who has ever watched over a turtle nest wants to ask you is to please, please turn off your ocean-facing exterior lights at night when they aren’t in use, or you are sleeping. The artificial lighting reduces the nesting success of sea turtles, so while that may seem silly, it’s actually a big deal for our little friends in the sea.