SUP Cleanup originated in Wilmington, North Carolina by local shop owners, Catherine and Jeoffrey Nathan of Coastal Urge, in March of 2009. Paddling around the islands off the coast of Wilmington, they realized the accessibility paddlers have to marshes, small islands and remote beaches. With heavy boat and tourist traffic throughout most of the year, areas such as Masonboro Island, Lee Island and Figure Eight Island gather quite a bit of trash and debris.
Since March 2009, SUP Cleanup has organized monthly cleanups in Wilmington’s surrounding islands and waterways. As standup paddle boarding’s popularity grows nationally and globally, SUP Cleanup founders are hoping to spread the idea and membership throughout the sport’s network of paddlers to make this a monthly occurrence on beaches everywhere. Wilmington’s chapter has been fortunate to receive support from community businesses and organizations allowing them to find success with each cleanup in the organization’s inaugural year.