Nothing to Hide?

As of January 1, House Bill 405 went into effect in North Carolina.

farrowingcratesThe bill originally targeted only people reporting on agricultural facilities. It was designed to be an “ag gag” bill, to keep people from seeing the unconscionable things that take place behind closed doors at concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).

The original bill wouldn’t pass Governor McCrory’s veto, so the authors recast the bill to cover all workplaces, it passed, McCrory vetoed it, and congress overrode the veto.

An industry with nothing to hide doesn’t lobby this hard to get special protection under the law. This is a blatant attack on free speech and journalism. Journalistic freedom is critical to a free, democratic society.

You can read more about it in this NY Times article.

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Thanks for Another Successful Cleanup

trashOn January 30, seven of us set out to clean up around the Swansboro bridge over the White Oak River (the double bridges). I’ve often said, if you pick up one piece of plastic and dispose of it properly, you’ve made a difference. Well, by that standard, we made a huge difference this past Saturday!

VolunteersI was saddened by how much trash we found, but I am heartened by the dedication of our volunteers and the cooperation we got from the community.

If you’ve never been on a trash pickup, I suggest you join us for at least one. Yes, we can always use more help, but also, I believe it opens your eyes to the scope of the problem. If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably not one to toss your trash out the window, but maybe we can convince you to pack a trash bag on your outings and make the effort to pick up some trash when you’re out and about. Every little bit really does help, and the problem is a lot more serious than you might imagine.

DJT_7238Take a close look at the photo on the left, and see if you can count the number of man-made items. The glove and can are barely the tip of the iceberg. Click the image to view it more closely. (We don’t pick up broken glass, as a rule.)

trash-pile2We didn’t run out of trash to pick up before we ran out of time. We had so many trash bags we had trouble hauling them away. I’d like to extend a special thanks to Dudley’s Marina in Cedar Point for helping us with that. I’d also like to thank Second Wind Eco Tours and Yoga for providing equipment.

Last, but not least, I want to thank the tireless volunteers who took time out of their weekend to help us collect 8 large bags of trash and a pile of items too big for our trash bags. It was not a trivial effort, and everyone pitched in. You people are awesome, and I can’t thank you enough.

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Brewed Awakenings Meet & Greet 🐢 🐟 🐌

Brewed Awakenings Coffee Cafe & Wine Bar

2355 Western Boulevard, Jacksonville, NC

Come join me at the Brewed Awakenings off of Western Blvd in Jacksonville. We can discuss White Oak – New Riverkeeper business. More importantly though, we can talk about how you can get involved in volunteer activities and listen to what you have to say about the White Oak River Basin. Hope to see you there!

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‘Merchants of Doubt’ Showing, Courtesy the Croatan Sierra Club

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Film – Merchants of Doubt 

THURSDAY, JAN 14, 2016 At Joslyn Hall at Carteret Community College

6:30 PM Meet and Greet, 7:00-8:30 PM Movie

Free and Open to the Public

The 90-minute documentary exposes a concerted strategy to create doubt about the facts of climate change through the use of pundits-for-hire who present themselves as scientific authorities. Based on the book by Naomi Oreskes, the film interviews industry reps, global warming deniers, environmentalists, and climate scientists to create a riveting behind-the-scenes look at how the fossil fuel industry has been so successful in blocking government action on climate.

Co-sponsored by:

NC Interfaith Power and Light – http://www.ncipl.org/

Croatan Sierra Club – https://croatangroup.wordpress.com

Carteret County Crossroads – http://www.carteretcrossroads.org

Please encourage all of your friends and family to attend, including/especially those who have doubts about climate change!

 

Thank you, and we hope to see you there!

 

See more details here: MerchantsofDoubt

 

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Polar Paddle & Plunge

Let’s Start the New Year Right! 

Do NOT miss this, friends! The Second Wind is having their annual New Year’s day Polar Paddle & Plunge! It’ll be a blast, albeit an Arctic one! 😉 Hope to see you there. Don’t forget to register! Please share.

Polar Paddle & Plunge

Friday, January 1, 11 A.M.

Cost: $20 Minimum Donation

Polar Bear Paddle and Plunge! January 1 at 11 am. Join us for one of the most exhilarating things you will do in 2016- take the plunge into the icy winter waters of the Crystal Coast! After the paddle and plunge we will enjoy a hot bowl of soup together. The cost is $20 and includes a kayak rental, soup, and donation to the White Oak New Riverkeeper Alliance. Contact April (910) 325-3600 to sign up.

Don’t forget to wear a costume!

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When Communities Come Together

KidsPickinguptrash3Pickinguptrash1

There are many regions within the White Oak River Basin areas that are clean up worthy. It can be a real bummer to see take out cups, beer bottles, and all the creative things you can imagine choking up the natural landscapes all around you. This holds true in my local communities as well. This morning I bribed my high school aged neighbor, who happens to be out of school right now, to come clean up the entrance to Maynard Manor off of Gum Branch in Jacksonville, North Carolina. She brought along our two year old friend, and we slowly cleared one side of the entrance going on one hour. We got about three large bags filled before the task of cleaning and keeping up with the smallest of us got the better of us and we began to head back.

Look at all this yard waste!
Look at all this yard waste!

Before we could get away a mini van pulled up with a family of three and asked if they could join us. This was music to my ears! The daunting task of clearing out this area just got much less daunting.

 

Family of three!
Family of three!

Another hour and a half passed and all of us were able to fill up 9 of those orange bags with garbage.

When we drive past these areas and shake our heads thinking, “You know? Someone really should do something about all that trash,” remember: “You Are Someone!” You never know what example you may be setting for others in your community. A daunting task seems far less daunting when you realize there are others in the community willing and wanting to come along and help out. Sometimes all it takes is just showing up.

Mud
And ALL of this MUD!
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Say “NO!” to seismic blasting and offshore drilling of the Atlantic!

Photo by Nicole L. Triplett
Photo by Nicole L. Triplett

Protect Our Coast!

  •      Our beach towns need healthy communities and economies, not refineries and pipelines. Say no to Atlantic drilling and protect ‪#‎MyEastCoast‬!

Learning from History

  •      After the Gulf of Mexico was opened to drilling, the massive 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster became the worst oil spill in our nation’s history, leaving behind a toxic legacy the region is still struggling to recover from.
  •      Businesses of all sizes have been paid more than $4 billion in economic damages due to 2010’s spill. Many people still fighting for adequate compensation and lawsuits are still ongoing; small, family-owned businesses were the worst impacted by this loss of revenue.
  • Even though the spill was capped in July 2010, oil is still washing up on shores. The 200 million gallons of crude oil polluted over 25% of Louisiana’s coastline, killing over 8,000 animals in the six months following the spill. A recent study confirmed that 10 million gallons of crude oil still sits on the Gulf floor ailing fish and other wildlife; ailments that are sure to move up the food chain toward the human population.

Below is a glance into the true costs of the BP oil spill.

Here ~> The True Cost of the BP Oil Spill for People, Communities, and the Environment

As for our coast?

  • Read the details here:

Offshore Drilling the Atlantic Coast

Seismic Surveys Fact Sheet

 

 

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Reckless Factory Farming Practices Are Killing Children

Check out this report: Nontherapeutic Use of Antimicrobial Agents in Animal Agriculture: Implications for Pediatrics.

If you prefer, here is a synopsis from Mother Jones.

Please support sustainable agriculture. Eastern North Carolina is rife with concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) which are not only abusing antibiotics, but are also mistreating animals and polluting both ground water and surface water, resulting in a degraded environment, fish kills, toxic well water, and more.

The most effective way to stop a dangerous industry is to stop buying it’s products. Do what you feel is right, but please get the facts, so you can make an educated decision. You can find more information in the factory farm section of our Issues page.

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