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It all started with our Cigarette Butt Litter Prevention Campaign (CLPP):


This critical Campaign started in early 2017; critical because our organization had lost our county funding, most of our board and volunteers as well as a physical location to “call home”. We initially started with recycling cigarette butts received from the city of Wilmington. We then started to supply cigarette butt canisters to companies and organizations. Our first location was Wilmington International Airport. The reason that our Campaign really took hold is because cigarette butt litter is the #1 littered item in the world. Further, if not captured, this litter can end up in our waterways and eventually in the Atlantic Ocean.


KNHB has demonstrated consistent growth and success with this program, both through the number of canisters we have installed, and the sustainability of our discard collections. Due to this success of this program, KNHB has received regular grant funding and free collection canisters, including the receipt of a very generous grant from the Women's Impact Network for additional butt canisters in May, 2020.


Because of our very close working relationship with Keep America Beautiful (KAB), they have been fully aware of our needs and how we consistently move forward and deliver on our promises. In early 2020, KAB announced that they had received grant funding to procure 6 Seabins and asked if KNHB would consider being the recipient of 2 of these units. A Seabin is a litter trapping device that is mounted to a floating dock and collects surface litter, debris and traps oil and gas residue in a oil-cloth.


After searching out possible locations, we selected one in the Cape Fear River, just south of the Isabel Holmes Bridge, and one in Bradley Creek Marina. In November, 2020, we installed our first Seabin in Port City Marina, behind what was PPD.


We learned early on that if a Seabin sits in a saltwater environment, the unit should have a coating of Propspeed, which is an anti-fouling agent that prevents the growth of marine life and corrosion of metals. Propspeed is also VERY costly, time-consuming to apply, and finicky to work with. (Many thanks to the management and dockmaster of the marina, for their support, assistance & patience during our initial installation.) It took a long time to locate a qualified individual to guide us in applying Propspeed. Eventually, a local commercial fisherman, who was between seasons, volunteered to help us with this daunting task.


Finally, in March, 2021, we installed Seabin #2 in Bradley Creek Marina. Tremendous thanks again go out to the management and dockmaster, Jon Crews, for all of their support, physical and otherwise.


Where We Are Today:

Through the generosity of the local chapter of the Surfrider Foundation and the Ocean Conservancy, we have received grants for 2 additional Seabins. These will be placed in the Port City Marina in early 2022 and are warmly welcomed by management and their dockmaster, Taylor Harberl. Our Seabins are serviced regularly


by our groups of volunteers from UNCW and CFCC- Plastic Ocean Project Chapter (POP) and their Marine Tech Group. As collections are made, the volunteers report their findings in an app called “Data Trapper”. This app was created by a group from the Univ. of

Toronto. Further analysis of what we are collecting and what harm they might bring to our water environment are being developed.


And….we’re NOT done yet! Stay tuned for more, great developments.



Special "THANK YOU" to

- Capt. Jot,

- Jay and his team at Marine Max

- Pierce of Coastal Hull Painting



- Our dedicated volunteers from: UNCW, Hoggard High School, and Cape Fear Com. College

- Bradley Creek Marine, and

- Port City Marina.


Extra special "THANK YOU" to our Executive Director, Dick Brightman, without whom none of this would be possible!


Every year KNHB, along with many other organizations, participates in the International Coastal Cleanup sponsored by the Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas initiative. This event is hosted in over 150 countries around the world, inspired by a community desire for clean coastlines. In 2020, despite many challenges, New Hanover County was able to organize volunteers at multiple locations to collect 400+ lbs of trash and recycling. These collections were documented using a program called Clean Swell, the world’s largest database of marine debris. Using this information, The Ocean Conservancy is able to create the Ocean Trash Index to track marine debris all across the globe. To learn more about Trash Free Seas and the Ocean Trash Index please visit oceanconservancy.org. For more information about Keep New Hanover Beautiful’s ICC event locations please visit our events page!



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Keep New Hanover Beautiful has been nominated in the Marine Debris Prevention and Awareness Grant Contest sponsored by The Turtle Island Restoration Network (TIRN).


The TIRN is a global nonprofit focused on "inspiring and mobilizing people around the world to protect marine biodiversity and the oceans that sustain all life on Earth." This is the second grant opportunity the organization has sponsored during the Covid-19 pandemic to support conservation efforts.


This grant contest features organizations from across the globe supporting efforts to clean our oceans and waterways. Keep New Hanover Beautiful was nominated for our new Seabin Project, created to remove and research debris from the Cape Fear River and Intracoastal Waterway. More information on our project can be found on our webpage.


The Seabin Project is an Australian company developing upstream solutions to solve marine debris at the source. We are happy to be partnering with them, as well as Keep America Beautiful to implement this project in our community.


Voting begins today for the Turtle Island Restoration Network contest! Click here to learn more about contestants and cast your vote! Voting is limited to once per day.


Every vote gets KNHB one step closer to expanding our Seabin program and cleaning up our community. Thank you for your continued support.


- The Keep New Hanover Beautiful Team

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