It's fall cleaning time for Beaufort residents with boats.
As part of the grant-funded Clean Marine Beaufort program, debris ranging from fishing nets to old boats can be disposed of Nov. 2-4 for free at about a dozen temporary dump sites across the county.
The program is based on a similar effort in Charleston last year and is designed to clean the waterways and educate residents on proper disposal methods.
Boaters can dispose of trash they would otherwise pay to leave at a landfill, such as small recreational boats, which people often leave in their yards or abandon on the water.
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Several local and regional organizations have joined forces on the Clean Marine Beaufort campaign. The Beaufort Soil & Water Conservation District received a $4,000 grant from the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety & Clean Water, and the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium received $9,000 from the University of Georgia's Southeast Atlantic Marine Debris Initiative to assist the cleanup.
Beaufort County Solid Waste and Recycling is handling boat disposal, which needs to be arranged by calling 843-255-2734. Two smaller grants will cover the cost of disposing of about 10 boats, which would be about $100 each if the owners had to foot the bill, recycling director Carol Murphy said.
"We want them to call us because getting rid of a boat is a little more complicated," she said, explaining that paperwork must be filed with the state and county to clear licenses and tax bills. "Plus, we don't want people to bring a steamship to the event and try to shove it into a bin."
The receptacle sites will accept items such as nets and crab traps, boat accessories, lifejackets, motors, anchors and marine scrap material. Oils, solvents, paint, cleaners and fuel will not be accepted. Volunteers are needed at locations throughout the county Nov. 3 and 4, Murphy said. Information is available at the Clean Marine Beaufort, SC Facebook page.
Disposal sites will be open noon to 4 p.m. Nov. 2 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 3 and 4. Locations are:
Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/EyeOnBeaufort.