MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) - A special meeting was called last week by Inlet leaders to control firework damage on the South strand.
The two big complaints when it comes to fireworks are noise and trash. Trash is the main issue, Murrells Inlet 2020 wants to tackle. The group wants to take proactive steps now to avoid getting rid of fireworks, later.
Three motions were passed as part of a new program to control firework damage. The first is to educate the public about this issue through social media and newsletters. The second invites Marshwalk restaurants to join in on the conversation, which will take place after Labor Day. The third includes a community advocate who can help with research and dive into a plan.
The owners of Drunken Jack's want to do what they can to keep the fireworks around because the Monday shows bring visitors to the Marsh walk on the slowest night of the week.
"If they come once and enjoy it, they're gonna come again and it might not be on the night that we're shooting fireworks but they remembered Murrells Inlet, they had a good time in Murrells Inlet," said owner of Drunken Jack's Al Hitchcock.
Restaurant owners say they care as much about the debris as everyone else and will do their part to make sure they're on top of the trash. Drunken Jack's workers clean up the inlet after every fireworks show.
As far as the fireworks go, Murrells Inlet 2020 wants to stress, it's not talking about a fireworks ban. This is more of a friendly warning that change needs to be made or we could see a ban in the future.
Firework debris awareness is just one part of the multi-faceted marine environment.
Leaders plan to include Inlet visitors, community members; essentially everyone, to make a difference in the future of the Inlet. Murrells Inlet 2020 discussed plans to launch a new "Inlet Friendly program." The program is in the planning stages but will include an education forum to show you what you can do to become an Inlet friendly business or home owner. It will be similar to the River-Friendly Business program in Conway.
Murrells Inlet 2020 says an idea like this is necessary because we don't realize the damage one piece of trash can cause. It affects everything from the environment to the economy; from fishing to your health and safety. Murrells Inlet 2020 says this is only a small piece to a big picture.
CCU researchers found the economic impact of the salt marsh is $720-million dollars, a dollar amount that will go down with trash. The goal is to get on top of the issue now, to avoid problems later.