You know that moment when all of the sudden it hits you? That super important thing you forgot because it wasn’t written on your hand or on the post-it note you misplaced? You have that first feeling of anxiety and try to think of when it’s due or what your next move is...
That’s the moment every person should have when they see their first piece of plastic floating in the water, or on top of a storm drain, or laying on the side of the road; that moment of remembering how important and vital it is to keep our oceans clean.
We headed into our first OBX trip, seven girls, only knowing bits of each other, only knowing of the things we read and the stories we heard, but once we arrived and ventured through this magical place, we had each formed a few thoughts of our own.
While in OBX, we saw amounts of trash so immense in certain areas, we could not collect it all. Although some areas were saturated with litter, the majority of OBX was too beautiful to describe; the air smelled of the sea everywhere you turned, the sky looked as if it was painted by watercolors, and the people were overly kind.
Once meeting the locals, we were overwhelmed by the feeling of unity to protecting and preserving our oceans: our mission all along. We ventured to lighthouses and deserted beaches, we found beautiful family-style coffee shops, but most importantly, we learned of a place, first hand, that needs to be protected. The facts all state how important OBX is; the 81 pelagic fish species, the 38 marine mammals, and the 5 types of sea turtles, most of which endangered, and so much more, but one can’t truly understand through words. We, as a group, are putting our efforts into creating a Hope Spot for Cape Hatteras through reaching out by word, by photography, film, art, voice: any way we can, so that we can connect to people and help everyone realize why this place is so crucial.
After three days of countless memories shared and multiple beaches cleaned, seven tightknit friends ventured back to Wilmington with some new thoughts in mind. Although only a small step towards our goal, it was a step none the less, and many more steps are taking place to protect and preserve this remarkable place.