County Sheriff's Office and State Coastal Agency Remind Visitors to Act Responsibly On July Fourth Holiday at Masonboro Island

Raleigh

RALEIGH – The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office and the state Division of Coastal Management are urging the public to act responsibly during the Independence Day holiday at the Masonboro Island Reserve, part of the North Carolina Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve in Wilmington.

For the 2014 holiday weekend, DCM and the Sheriff’s Office have worked together to provide for public safety and increase public awareness of responsible visitor behavior on the island.

Over the past several years, unofficial Fourth of July parties have resulted in a growing number of arrests for underage drinking, fighting, boating violations, accidents and injuries. Last year, an increased law enforcement presence, along with public outreach prior to the holiday, helped to moderate the event.

“Last year’s Fourth of July at Masonboro Island was an improvement over past years,” said DCM Director Braxton Davis. “Hopefully, this year’s continued law enforcement presence on the island and on the water will again be a deterrent to illegal activities and will help maintain visitor safety.”

The N.C. Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve Program protects natural areas for education, research and compatible recreation. Since its creation in 1989, the program has preserved more than 42,000 acres of unique coastal environments at 10 sites along the coast.

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