Upper Neuse River Paddle and Cleanup, April 18, 2015
We are doing things a little different this year than in years past. We will have one official site that includes walking and paddling. Or you can have your own site and just report the number of bags that you collect. We will be paddling from Falls Lake Dam to Capital Blvd in Raleigh and doing a walking cleanup at Falls Lake Dam/ Greeenway. We will have boats for people to use, I hope to have enough to put about 50 people on the water but please bring your own boat if you are able. This should be a fun event and good for the river as well.
Help Us Clean Up Duke Energy’s Toxic Coal Ash Ponds.
Please support the Upper Neuse Riverkeeper and Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation to help us clean up Duke Energy’s toxic coal ash ponds, including the Lee Steam Plant ash pond located on the Neuse River. The Dan River spill is a horrible disaster that could have been prevented. With your help we can make sure this doesn’t happen again.
On February 2, the third largest coal ash spill in the country happened when 39,000 tons of coal ash poured into the Dan River near Eden, North Carolina, spanning 80 river miles. Coal ash—laden with arsenic, mercury, chromium and lead—spilled from an antiquated and unlined coal ash pond owned by Duke Energy but this coal ash spill could have happened on any major river in North Carolina.
The Neuse Riverkeeper investigation of the Lee Steam Plant coal ash pond revealed unpermitted seeps into the Neuse River. Ground water sampling data has revealed arsenic levels 60 times the state groundwater standard. This is a serious public health threat to private land owners living on wells and polluting the Neuse River.
The Dan River spill could have been prevented. Duke Energy has 14 coal ash sites across our state and more than 35 unlined coal ash ponds sitting beside rivers and other bodies of water. The unsafe and antiquated storage of this waste finally came to the inevitable result in February. However, clean water advocates including the Upper Neuse Riverkeeper have been asking Duke Energy and decision makers to safely store coal ash for years
The most important thing North Carolina can do is to protect our rivers and drinking water from additional catastrophes like this. All coal ash ponds need to be moved out of these failing earthen pits to safe dry storage in lined landfills away from our rivers and drinking water. The NC Riverkeepers are here to stay! We will not rest until Duke cleans up all of its coal ash ponds!
The Upper Neuse Riverkeeper is working hard to protect your river. But, we can’t do it without you – we need your financial support to keep our work going. We hope you’ll consider donating $25, $50, $100, or whatever amount is meaningful to you to help clean up Duke’s coal ash ponds and prevent another coal ash spill. Together, we can clean up these polluting coal ash ponds and protect the Neuse River!
Falls Lake Rules and Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation Grant
Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation Grant Upper Neuse RiverKeeper, Matthew Starr was informed in November that his hard work had paid off and the NRF is the recipient of a one-year, $30,000 per year grant from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.
Sweet Water Brewery Kayak Raffle at Rally Point Sports Grill Friday September 19th from 7 PM til 11 PM, Sweet Water is providing a kayak for $5 a chance and all those funds will come directly to the NRF. Rally Point will have a blue grass band from 7 PM to 11PM. Thanks to Board Member Ben Watts for organizing this event.
Jug-Oar-Knot Relay Race Fundraiser Saturday morning September 13th saw Paul Michell and Upper Neuse River Keeper Matthew Starr out at Falls Lake with our first Jug Oar Knot canoe based relay race event. About $700 was raised by the 7 - 4 person teams that participated and from food truck donations to the NRF. Great job Paul for organizing and Matt for attending.
14th annual Duke Marine Lab Sprint Triathlon Just about the time the JOK was happening Lower Neuse River Keeper Travis Graves and Bill Hines were on hand for the running of the 14th annual Duke Marine Lab Sprint Triathlon in Beaufort at Radio Island. As the sole recipient of the funds raised by this event, the NRF and volunteers we recruit serve as "safety boats" in kayaks for the swim portion of the race. We have been told by the organizers that they plan to donate over $2000 to the NRF this year. Great work Bill & Travis.
Ol' Front Porch Music Festival in Oriental Also on September 13, long time supporter of the Neuse River Grace Evans and our own Leslie Kellenberger woman-ed our NRF booth at the first annual Ol' Front Porch Music Festival in Oriental from Noon to 4 PM. Not much money was donated but lots of friends were made.
My family and I have been warmly welcomed by everyone, and I am grateful for to the opportunity to repay that kindness with service as their Riverkeeper for many years to come. Working for the communities of the Lower Neuse Basin is sincerely a privilege, and the responsibility of protecting every person’s right to drinkable, swimmable, and fishable waters is my unwavering commitment. As I join the Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation’s long tradition of advocacy, education and protection of our waters I would like to extend an open invitation to all the communities of the Lower Neuse River Basin: We all depend on these waters and I invite everyone to join us, and take an active role in giving back to the Neuse. ---- Travis Graves
Enjoy the progress of our Bill Hines and friends, paddling the Neuse through from Raleigh to Oriental to raise awareness about water quality. 4/15/14 ..Talked to Bill Hines this morning ... Fred Schultz, Larry Summers, Jim Kellenberger and he had a big paddle day yesterday averaging 4 mph. Encountered lots of trash but the majority was soccer balls ... those black and white Wilsons ... must have seen 30 and all kinds of other balls too. ... had to portage around one dam the Millburnie Dam. Biggest disappointment ... no one met them with beer last evening .... found a camping spot outside of Clayton under Rte. 42 bridge. They are planning to concentrate on Town Halls to pass out orange D.O.T. trash bags to emphasize the need to clean up the river. Should make it to Smithfield for lunch at the Bistro.
4/15/14 Just heard from Bill Hines tonight and they made 31 miles today and are camping in the Howell Woods Environmental Center tonight ... check it out: http://www.johnstoncc.edu/howellwoods/aboutHowellWoods.aspx They are on a raised platform and lots of wood ducks around. The stretch today from Clayton was much cleaner ... maybe saw only 4 balls today, with lots of twists and turns ... just beautiful. They ate lunch in Smithfield at a NY deli-style restaurant called Gandolfis and it was superb!!! They are planning an easier day tomorrow ... going to be 35 degrees in the morning and the wind will be behind and contact some town halls.
4/16/14 Bill Hines reported tonight that he and Larry Summers and Fred Schultz froze their butts off last night ... even though they were on platforms at Howell Woods Environmental Center, the rain was pounding in sideways .... they woke up this morning and dried everything out in the bright sunshine and wind and got off about 11:00 a.m. They saw wood ducks, beaver, muskrat, Red-tailed hawks, Coopers Hawk, Great Blue Herons, Bank Swallows, Osprey. They are in Goldsboro tonight and will make it to Seven Springs tomorrow where there is an outfitter on the water. They will contact some town halls to get them on board for the clean-up the river project.
4/17/14 Thanks to Fred Schultz for the neat photo of Bill Hines cheering the half-way mark on their trip down the Neuse. Bill says they had an easy 25 mi. run today and have found the friendly town of Seven Springs. A neighborly lady with a bait and tackle shop let them set up in her backyard and they had a really fine flounder dinner at a new restaurant only open two weeks. Seven Springs is famous for a civil war battle fought there where the Rebs burned he bridge. The further they get from Raleigh, the cleaner the water is. Saw lots of birds, ducks, Osprey and Red-tailed hawks. Tomorrow they should land in Kinston .... they’ll be camping in a city park right on the river with Showers and a brewery nearby ... Showers first ... did I hear him correctly??? Oh yeah
Check out the terrific Neuse River paddling article here with beautiful photos written by Paul and Amber of Everyone's Travel Club - If you're out and about on Falls Lake, the Neuse River, Trent River, Contentnea Creek or other areas of the river basin and want to share your photos and stories please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to post them for everyone to enjoy!
Are you an educator looking for ways to stimulate science learning in your classroom? Does this student's recent comment inspire you?
"My favorite project at Exploris was our Environmental Challenge project! It made me feel like I wasn't just doing a tri-fold board on deforestation I was actually able to go out and make a REAL difference. It gave me the confidence to feel like I was changing the world"
Read more about this Neuse RIVERKEEPER Foundation program and how we can help you here!
FrackFree NC goes live! The alliance of NC organizations working against fracking in NC has launched a website: Go to http://www.frackfreenc.org/ to learn more and sign the petition.