News Feed

Art Fundraiser by Janetter Hopper and Charles Kernan

Posted on by admin

You are cordially invited to a special art show and sale supporting the Cape Fear River Watch on Friday December 9th from 5 – 8 pm at the Art in Bloom Gallery, 210 Princess Street in downtown Wilmington. Jazz pianist, Cameron Tinklenberg, will play, and there will be special holiday food and drink catered by Whole Foods. Make a purchase and 10% of sales from the current show “Visible Spectra” will be donated to Cape Fear River Watch. You are welcome to bring friends and family who would enjoy seeing the wonderful art and meeting the artists. This event is held in conjunction with the Historic Downtown Holly Jolly Stroll.

Visible Spectra: Paintings, Drawings, and Prints by Janette K. Hopper & Photography by Charles Kernan“: This joint exhibit presents stunning images of nature, people, and architecture transformed by light and shadow as interpreted by the artists during their travels and time outdoors. Renowned international artist, Janette K. Hopper will exhibit her exquisite paintings, prints, and drawings including sumi ink paintings on rice paper. Emerging artist, Charles Kernan will exhibit his limited edition, fine-art photography and photographic prints. Together, Janette’s and Charles’ art work present an evocative “Visible Spectra” spanning many medias, techniques, and subjects.
The art exhibit will continue through January 20th, 2017.

Posted in Uncategorized |

Thank You Expo216

Posted on by admin

Thank you Expo216 for hosting our Annual Meeting! We had a great time enjoying the space and we hope you will have a chance to check out the “Plastic Oceans” Exhibit by Bonnie Monteleone! Get more information about Expo216 here!

Posted in Uncategorized |

We need your help!

Posted on by admin

Dear River Watchers,
Greetings!  Thanks to you this has been an exceptional year at Cape Fear River Watch and we’re forecasting another great year of education programs, advocacy work, and action in our watershed in 2017.

Will you help us keep up this momentum in 2017 by making a gift before the end of the year?

As a member of Cape Fear River Watch and a citizen of our community post Hurricane Matthew, you know that everyone deserves clean water for drinking and recreation.  You know that there are very real threats like coal ash, factory farms and heavy industry endangering the health of our river now and for future generations.  Together, we work to protect and improve the water quality of the Lower Cape Fear River Basin through education, advocacy, and action.


In 2016, with your support, Cape Fear River Watch and your Riverkeeper® worked tirelessly to protect the Cape Fear.  We responded to several water quality emergencies including hurricane Matthew, Kemp paddled 200 miles of the Cape Fear River to spread awareness and we stopped Titan Cement from setting up shop along our river. We worked from the air, the water and the ground this year to monitor water quality issues facing our watershed. Our Education Coordinator and volunteers educated thousands of community members about our river and secured a contract for education at the Battleship in 2017. We also facilitated getting hundreds of folks out to clean up streams and on the water to enjoy what our watershed has to offer.

Your contribution will make a difference – Support these and other programs for 2017!


Make no mistake, it’s because of you and your gifts that this work is possible. Our work to protect the Cape Fear River is not possible without your support. Can we count on you to make a donation again in 2017 to keep the Cape Fear safe and clean for all of us?

Year in Review:  Thanks to you, look what else we achieved:

Educational Programs:

  • Hosted Summer Camps, providing scholarships for campers and providing healthy foods for snacks and lunches for each camper!
  • Held StriperFest and LakeFest Community Education Days to teach more than 750 citizens of all ages the importance of a healthy fishery and improving water quality in our region with the support of hundreds of volunteers like you.
  • Led educational field-trips and eco-tours at Greenfield Lake for over 750 school-aged children and worked in schools to educate children about stewardship, securing your river for the future.

Actions and advocacy issues:

  • 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 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 have documented and filed dozens of complaints of illegal waste handling in the last two years. During tropical storm Hermine and hurricane Matthew your Riverkeeper flew numerous times to document illegal spraying of hog waste and flooding of waste lagoons. This information was used to file complaints with NC environmental regulators.
  • This year we all celebrated our win against Titan Cement – a victory eight years in the making. The victory belongs to our entire community and the many community groups who worked together to stand strong against Titan and their dangerous proposal to strip mine limestone along the banks of the Northeast Cape Fear River and burn coal in an enormous kiln – producing enormous amounts of air pollution. This victory also protected our groundwater resources for your future generations.
  • We continue to work with our partners from the Titan fight to ensure that New Hanover County adopts strong and smart zoning regulations, specifically an improved Special Use Permit, that will prevent the next Titan-like project from threatening your community.
  • We are aggressively opposing a 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.
  • 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 stand ready to respond to new threats against our river and continue to look for proactive way to improve the mighty Cape Fear with your support.

Community Action and Saturday Series:

  • First Saturday Educational Seminars – more than 500 folks attend our monthly free & informative presentations on topics that impact our river each year.
  • Second Saturday Clean Ups – 400 volunteer hours kept over 3,500 of pounds of trashout of your waterways!
  • Third Saturday Community Paddles – Almost 400 paddlers joined us to explore our watershed.  There is no better way to know your watershed than to paddle her beautiful, inviting streams and rivers.
  • Improvements to our headquarters and Lock & Dam #1 by volunteers – over 500 volunteer hours have been donated to Cape Fear River Watch and our education center to maintain our rain gardens and landscaping in 2016. We need your help to clean up after Matthew.
  • CFRW has combined with Keep America Beautiful NHC and we look forward to events and clean ups!


 Please help us protect the Cape Fear for future generations and donate here today!


Thank you!  We hope your holiday season is filled with joy and celebration.

Your Cape Fear River Watch Staff,
Frank Yelverton, Kemp Burdette, KayLynn Hernandez, Jen Cole & Pat Connell

Posted in Uncategorized |

Fall Daffodil Fundraiser

Posted on by admin

It’s time to order your 2016 Daffodils to support CFRW. These make great gifts!

To order contact Jeannie Lennon at:
910- 794-8555 or



Posted in Uncategorized |

Cape Fear Floodwaters After Matthew

Posted on by admin


Hurricane Matthew was, without a doubt, one of the worst flooding events in recorded history for southeastern North Carolina, and the Cape Fear River Basin in particular. All three of the major sub-basins, the main stem of the Cape Fear River, The Black River, and the Northeast Cape Fear River, saw all-time high levels of flooding at some gauging sites.

The environmental impacts from this kind of flooding are enormous. The Cape Fear Riverkeeper, along with fellow Riverkeepers on the Waccamaw and Lumber River, the White Oak and New River, The Neuse River, and the Pamlico-Tar River, made several flights in small planes to get an idea of the impacts. What we saw was troubling.

Concentrated animal feeding operations (a.k.a. CAFOs or Factory Farms) were significantly impacted. Barns full of animals (both swine and poultry) were flooded, drowning animals in those barns. The waste within those flooded barns was swept up by floodwaters and carried downstream. Across North Carolina there were numerous hog lagoons that were buried beneath flood waters, their waste washed into communities downstream. Massive piles of poultry waste left in fields were washed into our rivers as well.

Coal ash ponds in the Cape Fear Basin did not see significant impacts, as the rainfall and flooding in New Hanover and Chatham Counties was less severe than areas in between. There were breaches of coal ash ponds in the Neuse River Basin at the Duke Energy Lee Plant, as well as a breach of the cooling pond there. As we have seen time and time again Duke Energy was late to catch the breach (they had to be told about it by the local TV station) and the NC Department of Environmental Quality has been reluctant to disclose the details of the spill.

To get a bird’s eye view of impacts across NC click here. To watch the WECT story click here. To read a Washington Post article about flooding impacts to CAFOs click here. The read about the coal ash spill click here. To read the Waterkeeper Alliance report on CAFOs and see the interactive maps click here.

Floodwaters are falling although many, many people are still out of their homes and or without power in areas of flooding. Clean-up of these impacted communities will continue for some time. The bottom line is that the Cape Fear still is likely to have high levels of bacteria that can make people very sick, Stay out of floodwaters, the river, and the ocean (remember the Cape Fear empties directly into the Atlantic). Stay tuned as more information about water quality will be forthcoming.

Shots from Lock & Dam #1 where our education center and rain garden were inundated:

dsc_0265 dsc_0256-2

If you would like to make a monetary contribution for repairs to the rain garden and education center you can do so here!

Posted in Uncategorized |

Giving Tuesday

Posted on by admin

We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, November 29th, 2016, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give. We take this opportunity to rally for the Cape Fear River and advocate for it’s preservation.

We are citizens of the Cape Fear Community. We drink the water, play in the water, make  livings from and eat what comes from the water. The Cape Fear flows through all of our hearts and bodies. Help protect where we eat, drink, make a living and play this year by giving to Cape Fear River Watch. It’s the gift that keeps on giving to all of your future generations. Invest in your future today – make a donation to the Cape Fear River here!

Posted in Uncategorized |

Shop with Amazon Smile to benefit CFRW!

Posted on by admin

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!

Posted in Uncategorized |


Posted on by admin

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


Posted in Uncategorized |