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New cleanup effort targets dangerous litter at Glass Beach on Jordan Lake

Posted Thursday, June 7, 2012

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Pittsboro, NC - When Jordan Lake was filled in 1982, hundreds of bathers were attracted to a beautiful stretch of beach along the shoreline of Weaver Creek, accessible by foot path from Pea Ridge Rd. This became known as Glass Beach, not because of broken beer bottles but because the water surface was so smooth.

Today, Glass Beach could have a different and unpleasant connotation. Amidst the trees that have grown up along the shoreline are beer bottles, cans, six-pack containers, beer cases, whiskey bottles, plastic bags, blue plastic bait containers and even dirty diapers. Nearer to the shore around a campfire circle are broken bottles. Shards of glass are strewn along the beach.

According to Fran DiGiano, president of Clean Jordan Lake, “Even dirty diapers are left within inches of shoreline. I checked the same site a couple of days later to find the dirty diapers actually floating in the water after rain increased the lake level a bit.”

In several cleanup efforts led by Clean Jordan Lake over the last couple of years, over 120 bags of trash have been removed, yet littering of Glass Beach continues unabated, DiGiano reports.

The latest effort to curb littering is Clean Jordan Lake’s Adopt-A-Shoreline Program. Glass Beach has been adopted by the Weaver Creek Homeowners Association, which collected 25 bags of trash in March during its first cleanup. Yet the same area is heavily littered again in just one month. “Not only has littering continued, but the Adopt-A-Shoreline sign was completely destroyed by vandals on the weekend of May 12,” DiGiano said.

Clean Jordan Lake and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) have teamed up to try a different approach to stop the trashing of Glass Beach. An informational sign has been installed on the path leading down to Glass Beach, explaining why litter is harmful to natural habitats and to water quality.

Fran DiGiano said, “Comparing our photos of a littered Glass Beach to that wonderful image of bathers enjoying the same spot in summer of 1982 is a graphic reminder of how the careless actions of a few can destroy a beautiful public place. To see dirty diapers in the mix puts an exclamation point on the need for stricter enforcement of anti-litter laws to preserve both aesthetics and natural habitats. We also need to prevent the spread of water-borne diseases.”

Clean Jordan Lake and USACE remain committed to tackling the litter problem through various activities, such as environmental education of primary school children in USACE’s Junior Ranger program and community service projects for various groups as well as the general public throughout the year. For more information about how individuals and groups can help, visit

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