Please select your home edition
Edition
Grapefruit Graphics 2019 - Leaderboard

TowBoatUS Beaufort, N.C., removes tons of marine debris through NOAA Grant

by Scott Croft 7 Jul 14:58 UTC
Capt. Lee Sykes (L) and his TowBoatUS Beaufort crew at the marine debris removal site © Scott Croft

The Town of Beaufort and the adjacent Rachel Carson Reserve knew they had a problem with abandoned vessels. For years, a pristine set of barrier islands had become an illegal dumping ground for old boats, tires and other debris.

Local on-water boat towing and assistance company TowBoatUS Beaufort not only wanted to help remove the mess, but owner Capt. Lee Sykes offered to help foot the bill with a matching donation with in-kind services. With some guidance from BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water, the large-scale marine debris removal project was selected for a NOAA Marine Debris Program grant that paid $68,000 of the recently completed project's $175,000 cost.

"This project showed how local organizers can reach out within the community and find various stakeholders that had unique talents and skill sets to take an idea and make it a viable project," said Capt. Sykes. "When the Reserve came to me and wanted me to get involved with this project, I said not only are we going to get involved on the operations side, but we're going to get involved on the money side, too. We matched a lot of money to help pull this off because it was a large project."

Removal of the debris, which included more than 43 illegal and abandoned moorings, 11 vessels and more than 62 tons of debris, took several weeks. Added Sykes, "We were all saddened by the debris. Once one or two wrecks were dumped, others followed. A handful were from Hurricane Florence. Transient vessels were having difficulty anchoring and often struck unmarked submerged objects. With downtown just on the other side of the channel, it was an eyesore to everyone." The TowBoatUS Beaufort crew hauled all of the debris ashore where the wrecks were scoured for recyclables and hazardous materials, then sent to landfills.

For more information on marine debris and what you can do to prevent it, the project partners created a short video. The BoatUS Foundation has also worked with other local TowBoatUS on-water towing companies for NOAA Marine Debris projects in Ohio and Maryland, and contributed to education and outreach on the Beaufort project.

Related Articles

Last chance for East Coast boaters to be heard
On Shallow Draft Waterway Aids to Navigation Survey West and Gulf coast recreational boaters have already spoken. Now the U.S. Coast Guard is asking East Coast boaters, in a short, 5-minute online survey, to weigh in about the Aids to Navigation (ATON) system on shallow draft waterways Posted on 17 Oct
Gulf Boaters prepare for Hurricane Delta
BoatUS offers free hurricane planning information, videos, worksheet Just three weeks ago, many boaters were caught unprepared when Hurricane Sally shifted eastward and came ashore near Gulf Shores, Alabama. Posted on 8 Oct
Alameda County Boaters: expired marine flares
Collection event helps address disposal challenge Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is urging Alameda County residents who own boats as well as those who keep their boats in the county to take advantage of a Marine Flare Collection Event to be held Sunday, Oct. 18. Posted on 2 Oct
BoatUS team responds after Hurricane Sally
Most boat damage due to lack of preparation GEICO | BoatUS Marine Insurance Catastrophe Team is finding that the Category 2 hurricane's sudden shift to the east just prior to the storm's September 16 landfall caught many boaters unprepared. Posted on 1 Oct
Boat buyers and sellers: Don't get scammed
How to spot the email warning signs The boating season is drawing to a close, but the cold weather buying season will heat up soon. On snowy nights, potential boat buyers will hunch over computers and cellphones looking at boats for sale, dreaming of sugarplums and their first boat Posted on 30 Sep
The best boat winterizing checklist
And everything else you ever wanted to know about putting away a recreational boat for the season Boaters in much of the U.S. and Canada acknowledge the need to winterize their boat's engines each autumn. But what else can go wrong? Posted on 17 Sep
Labor day boating safety tips
An increase in number of boaters on the water this three-day Labor Day holiday period For the nation's 12 million boat owners, Labor Day weekend is the last blast, with many enjoying the end-of-summer boating ritual with family and friends aboard, according to Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS). Posted on 2 Sep
Gulf boaters prepare for Marco and Laura
Tropical Storm Marco, expected to run along the Louisiana coast tomorrow A one-two punch with two tropical storms bearing down on the Gulf Coast this week is getting the attention of recreational boaters, leading some to wisely haul out their vessels to a safe location and make storm preparations. Posted on 25 Aug
Lifecycle Solutions for Fiberglass Boats
Rhode Island Marine Trade Industry Association aims to grow boat recycling across the U.S. With the move to phase 2 of the Rhode Island Fiberglass Vessel Recycling (RIFVR) Pilot Program to address the disposal issue of recreational boats, project managers have released “Facing the Legacy: Lifecycle Solutions for Fiberglass Boats.” Posted on 12 Aug
East Coast Boaters need to prepare for Isaias
Free hurricane planning videos, guides from BoatUS Hurricane Isaias is forecast to run up the East Coast, likely bringing heavy rains, high winds and storm surge from South Florida to potentially as far north as New England through next week. Posted on 31 Jul
Lizard 2020 - FOOTERCruise Village 2020 - FOOTERVaikobi 2019AUG - Footer 3