Local News

Styrofoam Chunks Litter N.C. Coast

Posted May 10, 2007 12:53 p.m. EDT
Updated May 10, 2007 4:05 p.m. EDT

— Rough weather in the Atlantic Ocean this week has left a mess along the North Carolina coast, with chunks of Styrofoam littering the beach from Cape Lookout north to the Virginia border.

The area around Drum Inlet is the most affected, officials said.

Late Sunday, the Paris Express encountered severe weather while heading from Savannah, Ga., to Norfolk, Va., and lost 21 containers overboard, including some containing foam packing peanuts, the Coast Guard said.

None of the cargo was listed as hazardous material, although Styrofoam could potentially harm pristine National Seashore areas, including critical nesting habitats for endangered turtles and various bird species.

Hapag-Lloyd, the shipping company that owns the Paris Express, has hired Moran Environmental Recovery to clean up the debris.

The company is working with the Coast Guard, the National Park Service, North Carolina Emergency Management, the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commision, Carteret County Emergency Management, Dare County Emergency Management, Hyde County Emergency Management and Currituck County Emergency Management in the clean up.

There was no word on the projected cost of the clean-up.