The North Carolina Coastal Federation seeks to involve the community in collecting marine debris to protect our local wildlife and salt marshes. This helps protect local wildlife, salt marshes and marine life. Our cleanups would not be possible without the help of our wonderful volunteers. Every year, we host community organizations, volunteers, school and college groups from around the country to come help keep the North Carolina coast safe and beautiful.

Along our coast, litter is dangerous to wildlife that mistake litter for food or become entangled in trash items. It is also a hazard to humans and hurts our economy.


  • is dangerous to wildlife that mistake litter for food
  • can be lethal when wildlife become entangled
  • is a safety hazard to humans (broken glass, anyone?)
  • damages our economy as it degrades the beauty of the coast

One way to help reduce marine debris is by participating in a solo cleanup. You and your family can remove litter in your yard, a nearby park, or local shoreline! With the Marine Debris Tracker App you can collect data to share with researchers. This citizen science data can be used to influence decisions on policy, draw scientific conclusions or be used in other research. We appreciate your help collecting as much data as possible! Tag us in your cleanup photos so we can thank you for your help. Follow along with other marine debris activities along the coast @DebrisFreeNC.

Coastal cleanups continue throughout the year and are focused on maintaining federation project sites and properties, such as our living shorelines and conservation easements. Cleanup partners and locations may vary based on site conditions and amount of debris. Stay updated at for cleanups in your region!

If you have a group that is interested in cleaning up our coast or if you are aware of an area along the coast that is in need of a cleanup, please call 252-393-8185.

Tackle Trash

You can help clean up our coast—from hurricane debris to microplastics.

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