Tires washing up along Eastern Carolina beaches following weekend nor’easter

EMERALD ISLE, N.C. (WITN) – This past weekend’s nor’easter is likely behind over a thousand tires dotting North Carolina beaches.

Video sent to WITN by James Speciale show him driving along Bogue Banks and finding several tires washed up on the shore. He said that he found them in the Indian Beach and Emerald Isle areas.

He said on Monday he collected 25 tires.

The Division of Marine Fisheries said that staff are in the Indian Beach area picking up tires. Their initial estimate is that there are 150-200 tires. They expect to wrap the cleanup today.

They tell us that staff completed the retrieval of around 1,000 tires from Holden Beach this morning in Brunswick County.

It’s believed the tires were part of an artificial reef.

“In the 1960s, 70s, and even early 80s, it was a common practice on the East Coast to use tires to construct artificial reefs for fish habitat and to produce attractive fishing grounds. The practice of using tires for artificial reefs has been discontinued for many years; however, tires from these old reefs are sometimes loosened during storms and wash ashore on area beaches,” said Patricia Smith, public information officer for the Division of Marine Fisheries.