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!