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Dear Friends,

It has been a historic year on the Cape Fear River. This summer, we learned that toxic compounds were being dumped into our river putting our communities’ health at risk. But rather than let our fear and worries to freeze us, our community responded in an inspiring way. YOU demanded answers, YOU demanded action, YOU did more. Help us continue to fight to protect the Cape Fear River – our drinking water source for generations to come.

Make a difference, donate now


Thanks to your past support, look what we have been able to accomplish this year:

Our Educational work:

  • Hosted Summer Camps, providing scholarships for 24 campers and providing healthy lunches, reusable water bottles and GenX free water for each camper!
  • Held StriperFest and LakeFest Community Education Days to teach more than 800 citizens of all ages the importance of a healthy fishery and water quality in our region.
  • Worked in schools, led educational field trips and eco tours at Greenfield Lake and held community forums for over 1000 citizens of our community.
  • Planned expansions with new intersession camps, street science Saturdays and educational experiences at the Battleship this fall & spring of 2018.

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Our advocacy work:

  • We responded immediately to the discovery of toxic perfluorinated compounds (including, but not limited to GenX) in our drinking water. We have organized numerous public forums to educate thousands of folks, bringing expert understanding to bear on an issue that impacts hundreds of thousands of people in the Cape Fear Region. Our work on emerging contaminants, like GenX, will continue, with your support, as we begin to weigh in on the permitting process to ensure that we eliminate dangerous contaminants in our drinking water. We will make sure you understand where YOU can weigh in and stand up for clean water. We’ve taken legal action to ensure that the US EPA doesn’t water down a badly needed overhaul of the Toxic Substances Control Act.
  • We are pushing back hard against the factory farm pollution that threatens your drinking water supply, your environment, and your enjoyment of the Cape Fear River. We are fighting factory farm pollution from the air, land, and of course, the water. We have documented and filed dozens of complaints of illegal waste handling over the last year. We’ve taken legal action to ensure that the NC Department of Environmental Quality takes credible citizen complaints seriously. We’re also working to elevate sustainable alternatives to factory farms. We are working with Riverkeepers across North Carolina to launch a fair farms initiative. We are also weighing in on a newly issued draft permit for Smithfield Foods’ slaughterhouse, the largest slaughterhouse on Earth.
  • We are aggressively opposing a ludicrous proposal by industry to reclassify a segment of the Lower Cape Fear River estuary as a swamp, a ridiculous move that would give polluters license to further degrade your river. This proposal completely ignores the largest contributor to nutrient pollution and lacks the scientific support needed to justify such short-sighted action. We’re prepared to take this fight to the courtroom to keep our river protected.
  • Our ongoing legal action against Duke Energy has forced the company to clean up both of its dangerous coal ash sites in the Cape Fear Basin. We are monitoring this clean-up to ensure it is conducted safely and thoroughly. Our efforts have also assured that the community of Flemington now has safe water to drink. Recently, we succeeded in establishing a restoration fund that will be used to mitigate the selenium contamination of Sutton Lake, caused by coal ash.  Your support saved the health of citizens in Flemington.
  • We continue to work with our partners from the Stop Titan fight to ensure that New Hanover County creates a smart Unified Development Ordinance that protects our environment and public health.
  • We continue to march upstream to Lock & Dam #2 and #3 to allow migratory fish to reach historic spawning grounds and have secured funding to do so. We are making improvements to the fish passage at Lock and Dam #1 to improve fish passage even further, and we are part of the partnership designing fish passages at the remaining two dams on the Cape Fear.

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Our Community Action and Saturday Series have:

  • Educated more than 500 people through our First Saturday Educational Seminars.
  • Organized more than 500 volunteer hours through our Second Saturdays and Community Clean Ups and kept 1600 of pounds of trash out of our waterways!
  • Placed over 400 paddlers on the water through our Third Saturdays and other Community Paddles. There is no better way to know your watershed than to paddle her beautiful, inviting streams and rivers.
  • Made improvements to our headquarters and Lock & Dam #1. Over 500 volunteer hours have been donated to Cape Fear River Watch to maintain our rain gardens and landscaping.
  • Helped us grow our membership to over 1,000 members.

Like you, we are proud to call the Cape Fear River home. But now, more than ever  – we need your support to ensure the Cape Fear River is protected for future generations.

Make a donation today!

or you can mail your donation to:

Cape Fear River Watch
617 Surry St
Wilmington, NC 28401

Thank you! We hope to see you on the river soon!

Our long-time supporter, The Orton Foundation, which focuses on protecting the Cape Fear River Basin’s unique rivers, wetlands, lands, forest and wildlife habitats was inspired by your response to toxins in our river and offered to match every single dollar you gave until December 1st – up to $5,000. We are thrilled to announce we made the match! We raised 10k thanks to Orton and our donors, but our work doesn’t end here. We are still fighting very real threats every day and need your support!

Our matching donation was made possible by the Orton Foundation.


Orton_Foundation_logo (1)
The Orton Foundation, the North Carolina affiliate of The Moore Charitable Foundation, founded by Louis Bacon in 1992, focuses on protecting the Cape Fear River Basin’s unique rivers, wetlands, lands, forest and wildlife habitats. The Orton Foundation also supports educational, healthcare and community programs in the region.