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 A pretty view can be easily spoiled

On a list of disgusting sights, seeing an entire car ashtray emptied on the ground in a parking lot ranks among them. What’s even more dismaying is knowing that collection of someone’s cigarette butts will likely end up washed into the sewers and make its way into the river.

Every day, the impact of pollution can be seen in parking lots and ditches, on the sides of the roads and in the waterways of the county. There are some who just never learned that tossing trash out of a car window is not good for the environment, nor the people and wildlife who live in that environment. There are some people who just don’t realize that tossing fast-food paper wrappers into the bed of a truck means those wrappers will most likely end up on the side of the road or in a ditch. Even worse, there are some people who simply don’t care. Unfortunately, it’s up to those who do care to clean up after them.

This spring, there is ample opportunity to do this. The North Carolina Department of Transportation is gearing up for its annual spring litter sweep on the roadsides and Sound Rivers is in the planning stages of the Riverkeeper Cup Cleanup Challenge, in which people scour the waters by foot or by vessel, picking up trash from the waterways. Both of these events require volunteers — people who care about their environment, its wildlife and the impression a vista full of trash makes on visitors.

Now’s the time to gather your group. Local businesses, nonprofits, scout troops, church groups, even a group of friends, can all assist in cleaning up Beaufort County’s act.

Spring is on the horizon. Already, cherry and Bradford pear blossoms have made an appearance, as have daffodils. As warmer days appear on the forecast and the landscape begins to burst with color, one thing to keep in mind is this: it doesn’t matter how pretty the view is if that view is spoiled by trash.

For more information about NCDOT’s Litter Sweep, visit www.ncdot.gov/initiatives-policies/environmental/litter-management or call Kim Wheeless at 919-707-2974. For more information about Sound Rivers’ Riverkeeper Cup Cleanup Challenge, follow Sound Rivers on Facebook or sign up for the newsletter at soundrivers.org.