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Thanks IP Rieglewood Community Foundation!

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Many thanks to International Paper, Rieglewood Community Foundation for their generous gift of $6,000 to go towards our interpretive boardwalk to be constructed at Lock and Dam #1. This boardwalk will be used both for walking eco tours and angler access to the river. This $11,000 project will be fully funded by International Paper as the remaining $5,000 will be grant funded by IP.

We cannot wait to announce the opening of our new boardwalk, stay tuned!

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Shop to support CFRW!

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Now you can support Cape Fear River Watch when you shop at AmazonSmile!

Cape Fear River Watch
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Annual Meeting – November 16th!

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Join us Sunday, November 16th from 4-6pm for our Annual Meeting and Membership Party at beautiful Watermark Marina, 4114 River Rd. Wilmington, NC 28412.  Phone 910-794-5259.

Gather together with Cape Fear River Watch members, Board of Directors, and staff as we celebrate 2014 and look forward to 2015.  Appetizers will be served, and we will have a cash bar (beer and wine). 

Current members will vote on new Board Members.  Everyone is welcome – so bring your friends and neighbors!  If you are not current or not yet a member, you can join or renew now so you can cast your vote too. 

Contact Jen Cole if you have any questions.

The Board and Staff of Cape Fear River Watch


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2014 Annual Campaign

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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.

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Coal Ash, your Riverkeeper and national news!

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On March 17th, 2014 The Rachel Maddow Show reported on the discovery by environmental activists of water being pumped from Duke Energy coal ash ponds into local waterways, and a new report that NC law has been changed to protect Duke’s coal ash pits. Our very own Riverkeeper Kemp Burdette is featured in this news report.

As more and more details “leak” out about this statewide environmental issue we will be on top of it!
Get more information about Coal Ash HERE.
We need YOUR HELP to fight coal ash here in NC, help us HERE!
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Volunteer Opportunities with CFRW!

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Looking for a fun way to volunteer your time back to the community?  We have developed a group of folks that  helps spread the word about our wonderful organization, its mission and what folks can do to help.  We are looking for people, like you, that are willing to take some time to learn more about the organization through a training session with the staff and some board members and then go out to some of the many functions around the area to help at the CFRW table. Join the CFRW Table Brigade! If you would like to join please email

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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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