A Hike Though Jockey's Ridge

Received response from the NC Park Service regarding the pollution on the Jockey's Ridge shoreline:
"I appreciate your concern over conditions along the estuarine shoreline at Jockey's Ridge. Unfortunately as one of the few long sandy shorelines that is not bulkheaded or riprapped in the immediate area we are a constant recipient of other people's refuse. We generally have community service workers do beach sweeps on the weekends to pick up small debris, and must wait for a low water event to be able to get a vehicle out to get large debris like lumber. One factor that we have to consider is that while visually unappealing, having the lumber out on the beach does not cause as much damage to the beach, wetland areas, and areas of submerged aquatic vegetation as having a tractor haul it out. What we will do is get the large debris to an area where we can get it off the beach with minimal damage. As for the oily substance in your picture, this is a natural byproduct of bacterial interactions in wetland areas. You can also find this in areas that have been disturbed and have iron in the soil. The shiny slick will break apart if you touch it. Oil does not.
We will address the debris problem and I hope you'll continue to enjoy hiking the soundside."

The response was very fast (I received it early this morning), and it sounds like they will address the issue, at least the treated waste lumber along the shoreline. I guess, I will take a trash bag myself though on my next Jockey's Ridge shoreline hike.

click to enlargeOften during the early evening hours or just for something to do, Lauren and I often take a hike though Jockey's Ridge State Park. We live very close to the park and can walk from our house. We usually stroll along the sound side edge of the park and then make our way though the woods and up to the dunes.

On the last hike while along the sound side edge I noticed the water was extremely polluted. The water looked quite nasty as it contained trash, oil, and sludge. Not sure where it all came from but most of the shoreline was covered near the marshland areas. Seeing this along one of the OBX's best natural features is a real shame. Shame on NC State Park Service, Dare County, the Town of Nags Head, and likely Roanoke Island (Manteo), for allowing pollution levels to get so bad on the islands that it is blatantly showcased for all to see on none other than the shoreline of Jockey's Ridge! Its bad enough that in the heat of summer, warning signs need to be posted at Jockey's Ridge due to high bacterial counts in the sound water, but then to see pollution piled up on the shoreline as well...sick!

Here are some photos of what I saw:
(they are kind of grainy since all I had was my phone camera. I will return with my high res camera for some better shots)
click to enlarge
Close up shot of oily sludge muck along the shoreline

click to enlarge
Looking out across the nasty stuff comprising of sludge and garbage


At 1:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good on ya Bill for bringing to the attention to the park about the waters! Preserving our Outer Banks is priceless so we need to keep informed and proactive. Spring is just around the corner!


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