BEAUFORT, Carteret County - The Town of Beaufort has a headache on its hands and is trying to do something about it.
The town has several boats which are abandoned or illegally moored in the creek. While that's one problem, the bigger issue is on Taylor's Creek, where larger sailboats have been moored in the channel for months.
"We don't know exactly what happened to this boat," said Town of Beaufort Manager John Day about one particular boat abandoned on the edge of the water. "It just showed up over here. See a line in front of it it looks like it broke.
"Many of these boats are owned by folks who live out of town, they simply leave their boats here and come back sometimes."
When people who own these boats finally take them, some leave behind a hazard. Beaufort Harbor Management has counted 40 illegal moorings, some with sailboats and some without.
"These moorings out here are not permitted but they've been in many case been out here for years," Day said.
A number of these sailboats are actual homes, and one of the problems being faced here is the waste from these boats end up right here in Taylor's Creek.
"Dumping waste into the creek is not something we want to see happen in addition to it being illegal," Day said.
Across the way at the Rachel Carson Reserve, it is taking a hit from the pollution. Larger boats also have difficulty accessing the Beaufort docks, creating another problem.
"Anything that's pollution-driven, the Coast Guard is going to be involved with ... anything that's a hazard to navigation being in the channel, whatever it is, we are going to mark it or have our Corps of Engineers remove it," said Scott McAloon with the U.S. Coast Guard.
State officials recently lifted a water quality swimming advisory for portions of Taylor's Creek off Lennoxville Road last week.