MOREHEAD CITY – Following reports of tires washing up on Atlantic Beach this weekend in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, staff with the Division of Marine Fisheries this morning are working to clear the tires from the beach.
Division staff report that less than 1,000 tires washed ashore this weekend, concentrated between Fort Macon and Indian Beach. Staff members are working with a small inmate crew to remove the tires from the beach as quickly as possible. The tires will be removed and taken to a staging area where a contractor who recycles tires will pick them up.
As part of its artificial reef program, in the 1970s the Division of Marine Fisheries constructed artificial reefs made of tires for fish habitat and to produce attractive fishing grounds—the practice of using tires for artificial reefs has been discontinued for many years. However, tires from these old reefs are sometimes loosened during storms and wash ashore. DMF staff believe that the tires that washed up this weekend came from the Atlantic Beach reef and the Onslow Bay Saltwater Fishing Club reef.