MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) - Monday Night Lights is meant to bring the community together and drum up summer business, but some say the annual event it's destroying the environment. The eight-minute fireworks show kicked off Monday and will run for eight weeks.
Murrells Inlet 2020 organizers showed WMBF News a box of wires they say they collected from the water, following firework shows last year.
Gary Weinreich, a concerned citizen, showed Reporter Theo Hayes tin foil and firework shells that were stuck in the mud and oyster beds around in the creek.
"We have a sense of stewardship and we have to do everything we can to protect and enhance the estuary, " said Weinreich.
"From the perspective of Murrells Inlet 20/20 we want to know what is the clean up effort and on the other side is it in the best interest of the community," said Sandra Bundy, the Vice Chair of the not-for-profit.
This afternoon, restaurant organizers gathered to defend Monday Night Lights. They say it draws thousands and that there is a clean-up process in place.
Al Hitchock, the President of Drunken Jacks also says the groups are being responsible.
"A doctor with Coastal Carolina came in last year and did a study and assured us the fireworks were not harmful," he said. "
They were biodegradable and Zambellis also assured us they would not harm the environment.
But Murrells Inlet 2020 says yes many studies have been done but the problem is there is no peer- reviewed studies on the impact of the metals from the fireworks on the aquatic ecosystem.
The other problem with the show some say is the noise.
Georgetown County leaders don't require a permit for Monday Night Lights. That's one thing some would like to see happen. But leaders say there have been some litter and noise complaints called into the Sheriff's Department. We're waiting to find out how many.
As for now, there's no plans to cancel the show but both groups say they'd ultimately like to work together.
"We're shooting them off for the people to enjoy we don't mean to harm the environment," said Hitchcock.