North Carolina Big Sweep
25 Years of Environmental Stewardship Celebrated in 2011!
An award-winning 501c3 nonprofit, North Carolina Big Sweep’s purpose is to rid our environment of litter by promoting environmental education and coordinating an annual statewide cleanup. Our mission is important because:
- Litter is a human health hazard when it attracts disease-carrying mosquitoes or rodents. As litter decomposes, it leaches chemicals into our groundwater. People are injured by accidentally stepping on broken glass or other litter.
- When wildlife mistake litter for food, it can suffocate them or clog their digestive tracts. Many will slowly starve to death because real food can’t get past the debris they ate. Wildlife often become entangled in litter. Once entangled, they are rarely able to free themselves, and they often attract other wildlife to the same hazard.
- Litter also hurts our economy. Businesses don’t want to locate in trashy areas. Tourists won’t linger in trashy areas. They won’t spend money, and they won’t return with their friends.
Keeping It Clean
North Carolina Big Sweep was founded as Beach Sweep in 1987 by Dr. Lundie Spence of the North Carolina Sea Grant College Program. In that seminal year, the Sweep was nothing more than a hastily-planned coastal cleanup. However, our success that year, attracting over 1,000 volunteers and collecting over 14 tons of debris, allowed the Sweep to grow and rapidly expand inland. In 1989, our public-private partnership officially became Big Sweep, the nation’s first statewide waterway cleanup. We expanded our mission in 2002 to include not just our waterways but our whole environment. Since our founding, North Carolina Big Sweep has had almost 335,000 volunteers and collected over 11 million pounds of trash from our environment in North Carolina.
North Carolina Big Sweep, Inc. is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that plans and coordinates the statewide Big Sweep. We are involved in several stewardship projects, including the Marina Monofilament Line Recycling Project and the Pier Litter Educational Campaign; and we have been commended by the North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission for the 12-month Adopt-A-Beach pilot program.
Our Effort to Educate
We also provide a variety of educational resources to encourage good environmental stewardship of our watersheds. We offer aquatic litter activity books for teachers, educational posters and brochures, and six-pack ring recycling trees for schools. North Carolina Big Sweep has gained national recognition for our many quality educational products, such as Splish Splash for grades K-3 and Ripples for grades 4 and 5. Our latest activity book, Undercurrents, was created for middle school teachers and has a helpful guide on the inside cover that correlates Undercurrents activities with science, language arts, healthful living, information skills, and math.
But we don’t leave the adults out either! For those who enjoy recreation on our waterways, we offer boat litter bags and pocket ashtrays. Please don’t hesitate to contact us; we would love to have your help in promoting proper use of one of our most important natural resources.
Join the Team!
If you would like to help with the annual cleanup, please visit the Volunteer Sign Up page. Or, if you would prefer to support our effort in the form of a tax-deductible gift, you may do so by check or credit card. Click here to visit the Donation page. We also offer memberships! Click here to Become a Member.
Thank you! Your contributions will help us to maintain our year-round educational effort for a litter-free North Carolina.
Because North Carolina Big Sweep values and respects your right to privacy, we do not share donors’ personal or contact information with any third party for solicitation purposes. We do not sell, trade or rent your personal information to other companies or individuals. To protect our donors, online donations from this website are received by a secure server at PayPal.
Donors’ personal information such as names, mailing addresses and e-mail addresses are used by Big Sweep to acknowledge a donation and/or when someone voluntarily provides this information and opts to join our mailing list. Big Sweep strives to provide acknowledgment of donations in a timely manner. If you have not received an acknowledgment of a gift or if the acknowledgment contains an error, let us know.
Please contact Big Sweep using the contact information below with any questions or comments regarding your privacy or donor acknowledgment. Feel free to contact us for an electronic copy of our 990 or annual voluntary audit.
North Carolina Big Sweep, 142 East Vance Street, P.O. Box 126, Zebulon, NC 27597. Phone (919) 269-9380. Fax (919) 269-9382. E-mail email@example.com
Awards for NC Big Sweep
- Take Pride in America – Hall of Fame
Big Sweep was the first North Carolina organization to receive this award.
- Keep America Beautiful – Public Lands Stewardship Award
- Keep America Beautiful – Take Care of America Award
- Chemical Industry Council – Environmental Stewardship Award