09/27/05 — Volunteers are needed for waterways cleanup

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Volunteers are needed for waterways cleanup

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on September 27, 2005 1:47 PM

Trash will be foremost on the minds of Wayne County residents Oct. 1 as they take to local waterways for the 2005 Big Sweep from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Last year in North Carolina, 13,000 Big Sweep volunteers picked up more than 420,000 pounds of trash.

In Wayne County, 258 volunteers picked up 109 bags of trash at 15 sites covering more than 20 miles of waterways, according to Barbara Byers, Big Sweep coordinator. She said the most common items were drink bottles.

Unusual items found were various types of balls such as basketballs, tennis balls and soccer balls collected by a group cleaning up the Neuse River.

This year's sites to be cleaned include local schools, Berkeley Mall, Ferry Bridge Road, Berkeley Park and Cliffs of the Neuse State Park, Ms. Byers said.

However, if groups want to clean another area, they should contact Ms. Byers and let her know.

Big Sweep began as Beach Sweep in 1987, founded by Dr. Lundie Spence of the North Carolina Sea Grant College Program. In 1989, it became Big Sweep, the nation's first statewide waterway cleanup.

"I think this is something that's needed here," said Ms. Byers. "One of the most positive things is that we can clean ditches and other areas because eventually, most of that trash makes its way down to a stream and then out into the ocean and endangers wildlife."

To participate in this year's Big Sweep, call Ms. Byers at 731-1527. She will have supplies such as bags and gloves.

Entries also are being taken for North Carolina Big Sweep's 2006 T-shirt and poster design contest.

It's open to all North Carolina students in kindergarten through 12the grade. Entries should be submitted on an standard-size, unlined white paper with the student's name, age, school name, address and phone number on the back.

No more than three colors are to be used in the design. Entries will be judged on message, originality, educational value and attractiveness.

The winner will receive $100 and a 2006 Artist of the Year plaque at a reception Nov. 1.

Entries should be sent to North Carolina Big Sweep, P.O. Box 126, Zebulon, 27597-0126. The deadline for entering is Oct. 15.

Last year's winner was Caroline Finch, a 16-year-old Goldsboro student.