Nearly 3,500 crab pots were removed from North Carolina coastal waters during a one and a half week cleanup effort. A fleet of boats and more than 70 local commercial fisherpeople collected the derelict crab pots and fishing gear from internal coastal waters along the entire North Carolina coast from January 17 to the 27th. The marine debris was lost during severe weather events. If left in the water, the crab pots and fishing gear can create hazards for boaters and wildlife. The Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project, led by the North Carolina Coastal Federation with $100,000 from the State General Assembly, started in 2014 as a way to create work opportunities for commercial fisherpeople during a slower time of the year due to colder waters and the multi-week crabbing closure.