RALEIGH, N.C. (May 27, 2014) —With boating and fishing season underway, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is asking the public to help keep boating access areas clean and free of debris by “adopting” a boat ramp.
The “Adopt-a-Boat-Ramp” program, based on the popular anti-littering “Adopt-a-Highway” campaign, encourages groups, organizations, individuals and businesses to adopt one of the more than 200 boat ramps that are open to the public across the state, visit it once a month and pick up litter or debris. In exchange for the work, the Commission recognizes volunteers with a sign erected at the boat ramp after the first cleanup has been completed.
The program, which is free, is a partnership between the Commission and the North Carolina Public Access Foundation. The program has been beneficial for the agency, in particular division staff, who can spend large amounts of time picking up litter at boating access areas, according to Erik Christofferson, chief of the Commission’s Division of Engineering Services and Lands Management.
“Having volunteers who are willing to donate their time and energy to pick up trash at public boat ramps frees up our technicians to create more access for boaters and anglers,” Christofferson said. “This is a terrific program and we encourage anyone who might be interested in signing up to do so.”
Since the program’s inception in 2011, 16 groups have adopted boat ramps and have held litter cleanups. While the majority of ramps that have been adopted so far are concentrated in the coastal region, all of the Commission’s boating access areas are up for adoption.
The NCPAF website, www.ncpaf.com, has a list of public boating access areas that the Commission would most like to see adopted, including some that are in the most need of litter cleanup. The website also has a list of ramps that have been adopted already. Some boat ramps are adopted almost immediately, such as the newly constructed Brick Landing Boating Access Area in Shallotte.
“People tend to adopt boat ramps that are close to them or the ramps they use most often,” said NCPAF Chairman Mike Marsh. “However, others haven’t been adopted that we could really use help with — those that are used a lot or those that are off the beaten path and not easily accessible to the Commission's conservation technicians.”
It’s a simple and quick process to adopt a boat ramp.
“We’ve tried to make it as easy as possible for folks to adopt a boat ramp,” Marsh said. “All you have to do is visit our website, look through the list of the ramps that are most in need of adoption, read the safety rules and guidelines, and print out and mail the ‘Adopt a Boat Ramp’ contract. We will contact you to make sure everything is in order and answer any questions. Then we will have the Commission send you a supply of trash bags so you can get started. Volunteers are responsible for disposing trash bags.”
For more information about the Adopt-A-Boat-Ramp program, visit the NCPAF website, www.ncpaf.com. For more information on boating in North Carolina, including the locations of more than 200 free, publicly accessible boating access areas, visit the Commission’s online locater map.
a high-resolution version of the photograph above. Please credit Mike Marsh.