New River Cleanup

djt_8737It happened again, but it couldn’t have happened on a nicer day. We had a cleanup on the New River on Oct 15. We had several new volunteers, which makes me very happy. At least one of the volunteers is in the habit of picking up trash on all of his trips. That is always nice to hear. Some people can’t attend an organized cleanup, but that doesn’t mean they can’t make a difference. Every piece of trash you remove from the environment is one less piece of trash that is damaging our environment.

Thanks to everyone for coming out and making a difference. Also, don’t forget about Operation Medicine Drop this coming Saturday (Oct 22).

Doug Toltzman

p.s. There are more photos on our Meetup page.

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Creek Freaks Coming to Eastern NC!

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“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.” – Chief Seattle, Duwamish (1780-1866)

Izaak Walton League of America’s (IWLA) National Clean Water Fellow Samantha Roth led a Creek Freaks training 14034859_10210459590835181_4694186027975588719_nthis weekend at the IWLA – White Oak River Chapter. Ten people in all from non-profit organizations to University professors were in attendance.  We learned lots of valuable ways to engage the locals and students in our watershed through classroom exercises, chemical testing to outdoor macroinvertebrate sampling.

Jessica Hult, President of the White Oak River Chapter IWLA, provided us all with a prime creek location on Caleb’s creek to pick through the awesome “water bugs” and do some water testing. Why would we like to look into the macroinvertebrates, water chemistry and watershed exercises? North Carolina has this wonderful natural heritage that provides us with recreational activities with our families. We have beautiful aquatic habitat with diverse species. We have economic tourism opportunities that rely on the quality of our water bodies. Ultimately, we want to connect locals and future generations with their natural heritage so they can determine appropriate water conservation and land usage in their own communities. The White Oak New Riverkeeper Alliance will be collaborating with the IWLA White Oak River Chapter on some prime sampling locations and making Creek Freaks opportunities available to our volunteers and families in the near future. I am excited to provide these opportunities and I am thankful to the IWLA for bringing this training to our watershed!

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The Best Part of my Day

DJT_7422The best part of any day is the time I get to spend on the water. However, today was special.

First, Nicole and I paddled almost 4 miles up Peddiford Creek and back, for a total distance of 7.7 miles. The last time I was up Peddiford Creek was with Elmer Eddy and Brian Wheat in January, 2008. I took a canoe that time, expecting a sheltered creek paddle, and ended up paddling against a stiff wind for 2 or 3 miles on our return trip.

Today, I took a kayak, the weather was pleasant and the trip was mostly uneventful. We nearly got scorched by a forest fire and we had to make some stops to pick up trash, but otherwise, it was a leisurely paddle.

My return to the office wasn’t as pleasant, but that’s a whole other matter. Thanks to Nicole for a fun paddle and great conversation.

Trip report: Put-in at 11:00 and take out at 15:30 from boat launch on Pettiford Rd.

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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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NC CPA Day of Service

_DJ23892Today, Dale Weston and I helped facilitate a trash pickup by a local group of CPAs, headed up by Steven Scarborough. The group was out to give something back to our state on the N.C. CPA Day of Service.  There were about 15 accountants on the water at one time. That by itself is quite an accomplishment! We were also joined by John Lister (Swansboro Board of Commissioners).

_DJ23880April Clark (Proprietor: Second Wind Eco Tours and White Oak-New Riverkeeper Alliance Board member), provided us with 8 kayaks and paddles. She had the equipment all ready for us by the time we arrived to pick it up.

The ramp at Cedar Point Park, where we launched, was buzzing with activity by 08:30 this morning. Some of the group was on the water before our official launch at 09:00. We got off to a strong start, coasting with the wind behind us.

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At first, the trash was light, but there always seems to be those places that you just can’t keep clean, because the people who frequent them can’t be bothered with picking up after themselves. I am at a loss to understand people who think throwing their beer bottles and other refuse into the grass is okay. I know a good deal of the trash comes from fishermen, because I pick up lots of bait containers and fishing line. I would think fishermen would have an interest in protecting our water resources. I’m not sure they understand the damage we’re doing to the oceans by using them as our personal dumpster. I spend a lot of my personal time and resources, picking up after thoughtless people. All I’ve ever asked people to do is think.

_DJ23904Anyway, I’m pretty sure we came back with as many accountants as we took out. I’d like to think that one of the accountants accounted for everyone. I, personally, did not take a head count. If we left anyone behind, I’m apologize. It’s not that I don’t like accountants … I promise.

We did come back with a couple bags full of trash and a few derelict crab pots. Every piece of plastic anyone takes out of the environment is a step in the right direction. It all matters, and if we get it before it begins breaking down into tiny pieces, it means it won’t end up in the fish we eat.

_DJ23890Thanks to everyone who came out, today, and to April Clark for providing boats and moral support. It was a great day for a paddle, we did a great thing for the environment, and we introduced some new people to paddling. Who said accountants can’t have fun?

<– that’s Dale Weston in the canoe

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