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Shop with Amazon Smile to benefit CFRW!

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Shop with Amazon Smile to benefit CFRW!

Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Cape Fear River Watch whenever you shop on AmazonSmile.

Get started here!

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Christmas Ornament Fundraiser

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ORDERS ARE COMPLETED FOR 2014.  We do have some bird ornaments at the office that are available for purchase. (617 Sury St.) Please call for availability – 910-762-5606

Our 2014 Christmas Ornament Fundraiser is underway! These locally handmade ornaments make perfect gifts for friends and family that support the Cape Fear River at the same time! All of the supplies used to make these ornaments are ordered from NC distributors and the clay was dug right from the mountains of North Carolina. Keeping it local folks! Proceeds benefit CFRW.


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Help us help the Cape Fear River!

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Dear Friends and Members,

Greetings!  This has been a terrific year at Cape Fear River Watch and we are very proud of the work we have done together to protect and improve the    water quality of the Cape Fear River – OUR River, YOUR River! Please help us maintain this momentum in 2015 with a contribution to our year-end fundraising campaign.

This has been an important year for our advocacy work.  Your Riverkeeper worked diligently to ensure coal ash ponds will be cleaned up in the Cape Fear Basin. We filed Clean Water Act lawsuits on facilities above our drinking water supplies that contaminate the river and groundwater 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Our work has made an impact!  Clean-up of the Sutton plant in New   Hanover County will start soon and the Flemington community will have safer water to drink. We continue to stand strong against Titan Cement.  Actively  engaging people on the river to show the importance of protecting the Northeast Cape Fear River gives value to our continued legal challenges in support of the Stop Titan efforts. We have defended attacks against New Hanover County’s Special Use Permit, and we will continue to fight to keep smart protections in place for our environment.

Recently, we have responded to a new but ongoing threat – a massive new slaughterhouse is being proposed for construction on the banks of the Cape Fear River, above our drinking water supply. We are also working with upstream partners to clean-up leaky sewer systems in an effort to keep sewage out of our drinking water. Make no mistake – our river, and our drinking water, needs protection from negligent and under-regulated industries, from senseless attacks on environmental regulations, and from emerging threats that seem to never cease.

Our outreach, education and action efforts are extensive – so far this year we have educated over 2,500 youths, and successfully opened an environmental education center at Lock & Dam #1 in Bladen County. We also built spawning habitat above Lock and Dam #1, so that migratory fish using the recently completed fish passage have a place to spawn; just one more example of our early steps in the process of restoring our river’s fishery. Our Saturday Seminars  continue to educate hundreds and our Clean-Ups have removed over 15,000 pounds of trash from our local waterways, thanks to our many volunteers. Our Paddles allow scores of you to be moved and inspired by all that the river     provides us. We want our outreach efforts to become even broader and deeper in both scope and reach; we rely upon you to enable us to do this through your generous support.

Our members and friends play a vital role in the work that we do – in fact, we would not be able to protect and improve the Cape Fear River without each and every one of you. We stand ready to protect our river BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP!! 


Thank you so much!

Photo by Alan Cradick and SouthWings



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The Art Brownell Fellowship Fund

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As many of you may know, we have lost one of our most dedicated and passionate members of our Cape Fear River family. In April, we lost Arthur W. Brownell, a champion of the Cape Fear River and a driving force behind the restoration of our river’s fishery. Art was an exceptional man. His deep understanding of the importance of environmental conservation was developed throughout a lifetime of work and experience in the field.

He grew up in the Boston area, and his love of the outdoors and fishing began at an early age. He joined the Massachusetts Department of Natural Resources and worked his way to the top of that organization in just eighteen years. He then worked in governmental affairs for International Paper and was that organization’s interface with Congress on environmental issues for over twenty years.

His lifetime accomplishments are extensive and include helping to establish the Cape Cod National Seashore, working on the clean-up of Boston Harbor, forming numerous conservation commissions, serving as Vice President and President of Cape Fear River Watch, serving as Treasurer and President of the Cape Fear Men’s Club, and being elected to the New Hanover County Soil and Water Conservation Board of Supervisors in 2012.

Art took a love of the outdoors and turned it into a lifelong commitment to protect and improve the waterways and forests that he knew were so important. Cape Fear River Watch benefitted enormously from his leadership over the years. He asked tough questions, gave wise advice, took calculated risks, was always there ready to help, and pushed us to be the best organization that we could be.

Art is survived by his wife of 51 years, Helen Brownell; two daughters, Sandra Brownell and Debra Bense, Debra’s husband Ron and daughter Juliana; as well as his nephew Paul Dunn.

Here at Cape Fear River Watch we individually and collectively find great inspiration by looking back at Art’s well-lived life. As a way of honoring Art’s commitment to conservation and his tireless efforts to restore the Cape Fear River fishery, Cape Fear River Watch is establishing The Art Brownell Fellowship. This fellowship will be funded as an annual internship at Cape Fear River Watch in support of fishery restoration in the Cape Fear River, and it will be awarded to an exceptional undergraduate or graduate student selected by the Cape Fear River Watch Board of Directors. The recipient will be announced each year at the StriperFest banquet.

We know that Art would be honored to see that his vision and work within Cape Fear River Watch to restore the fishery is being continued and improved with the addition of a fellowship dedicated to that goal. We are also confident that the students who are awarded this fellowship will benefit from a deeper understanding of the importance of conservation and fisheries just as Art did. Finally, we take comfort in knowing that “our” river and its fishery will continue to benefit from Art’s legacy for many years to come.

If you would like to contribute to the Art Brownell Fellowship Fund please click here.

If you would like to apply for the Art Brownell Fellowship please email your resume and cover letter to

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Official 2015 Striperfest Schedule!

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StriperFest 2015!
January 16th – 17th is our fabulously fishy StriperFest!
Here is your official schedule of events, all will take place at the Coastline Convention Center!

January 16th – Friday night at 6pm kicks off our event with our Auction and Banquet!
Bid on vacation packages, boating equipment, unique art pieces, local restaurant packages and much more all while enjoying a catered dinner and great friends.

January 17th – Saturday morning at 9 am is Boats Away in our one of a kind Tag & Release Striped Bass Fishing Tournament! Be there to catch the live action and then stick around for a ton of fun activities!

10:00 AM – Cape Fear River Fisheries Science Forum

11am – 2pm – Education Day!
Education is an important component successful fishery restoration. Our fun activities focus on the Cape Fear River’s incredible anadromous fish and the importance of restoring our fishery restoration. Come on out and bring the kids to participate in activities like: Face Painting, Casting Lessons, Microscope Fun, Arts and Crafts, Fish Printing, Fish Anatomy and Much More!

11am-2pm – Boat Trips!
All aboard the Wilmington Water Tours Boat “The Wilmington” for a wonderful guided tour up the Cape Fear River! Registration links and time schedule coming SOON!

12:00 Noon – Jot Owens Fishing Workshop
Captain Jot Owens will be giving a FREE Cape Fear River Striped Bass Fishing Seminar starting at 12pm. This seminar will go over tactics for fishing for Cape Fear River Striped Bass; what lures, what tides, where to fish, tackle and more… This seminar will last about 45 minutes to an hour.

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Annual Report!

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View our Annual report to see all of the wonderful things we have accomplished!

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f you have information about pollution being spilled, dumped or discharged into the storm drainage system, which includes storm drains, ditches, swales, creeks, lakes, ponds, streets, or directly into a waterway, please


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