After a big boat sank in an Oriental town harbor, oil spread across the water. The dock owner put down his own private contamination boom. That boom was crucial in containing pollution before it spread across into the entire harbor.
"It is something you always have to expect, the potential to have some problems," said Larry Summers, a Town of Oriental Commissioner.
Oriental, the "Sailing Capital of North Carolina" is bound to have boats go down. But the people in the town are starting to wonder if public contamination booms would be a good investment.
"If we have it right here we in Oriental would be able to protect our own environment for that short length of time that will be the responsibility of whoever made the release. But we will contain it so it doesn't go off and do bad things like it did," said Bill Hines, a birder, and environmental advocate.
It is still unclear who would fund the booms, but two would likely be purchased, each 100 feet in length. Two such booms would be long enough together to wrap around an average shrimp trawler.