VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - With 16,000 cigarette butts in his trunk, Donny Damon pushed lawmakers to support a proposal banning smoking at Chesapeake Beach.
Damon has been leading local efforts to ban smoking at Chick's Beach for months. Since May 2012, he and several other residents have collected thousands of cigarette butts from the beach and displayed them at local events for people to see the impact of smoking.
"When I pick up 16,000 cigarette butts down here in seven blocks of beach... that's just a portion. It's not all of them," Damon told 10 On Your Side.
Aside from the environmental hazard, cigarette butts pose a danger to marine life and coastal ecology.
Virginia state senator Ralph Northam supports the ban as well and invited Damon to speak to a senate committee at the Virginia General Assembly Tuesday. Northam sponsored Senate Bill No. 1253 , which would give local governments the ability to decide whether to ban smoking in a public place.
Tuesday, the bill passed the committee and will be presented to the Senate later this week.
Governor Bob McDonnell has set the date for a special election for Virginia's 6th District senate seat.
An plane landing at Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport experienced mechanical difficulties Friday afternoon.
Virginia Beach police are investigating items found in an Oceanfront hotel room consistent with manufacturing narcotics Friday.