Author: Heather Deck

40th Anniversary

March 9, 2023

40th Anniversary

40 years, fighting for clean water

2021 was a special year as Sound Rivers celebrated 40 years of fighting for clean water — your water.

In the fall of 2021, we premiered “A Sound River,” our 40th-anniversary film exploring Sound Rivers’ history of activism, from its humble beginnings around kitchen tables to court battles against industrial polluters, as told by the voices of Sound Rivers — its founders and partners, those continuing the fight for clean water and environmental justice, and the Riverkeepers guarding the waterways that cover nearly a quarter of North Carolina. 

Rain Bennett, a Durham resident and Washington native, directed the film, drawing on Sound Rivers’ storytellers and experts to provide background and the science behind issues.

“Seeing and hearing some of the stories from the people who have been there from the beginning, it’s clear that certain things remain constant: there will always be industries and facilities and regulations and interests threatening our waterways, but there will also always be those who care deeply for the river and their community, ready to stand up to these challenges,” said former Pamlico-Tar Riverkeeper Jill Howell.

Watch the trailer for Sound Rivers today!

If you’re interested in hosting a watch party or screening the event, email us at info@soundrivers.org and we’ll be happy to make it happen.

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In Their Own Voices

March 9, 2023

In Their Own Voices

For more than four decades, Sound Rivers has been an advocate for the health of the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico, as well as the communities that rely them. Though Sound Rivers may be the voice for the river, it’s the many people who have supported the clean-water cause for more than four decades who have made the greatest impact, giving generously of their time, expertise, passion and resources.

From founders of the Neuse River and Pamlico-Tar River foundations to incredible supporters who’ve joined along the way, we’ve taken a look back at some familiar faces, whose passion for the environment and the beautiful rivers, lakes and creeks of eastern North Carolina has been, and continues to be, instrumental in keeping our waters swimmable, fishable and drinkable.

Read about their work, their passions and why they became involved in our fight for clean water.

Our Stories

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History

March 9, 2023

History

Sound Rivers was created by the merger of two of the state’s oldest grassroots conservation organizations, combining the deep history of advocacy of the Neuse River Foundation, established in 1980, and the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation, established in 1981.

Prior to the founding of these two organizations, people had noticed a fundamental change on the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico rivers. Fish and crab, so abundant in previous decades, had declined. Forests of sea grass had disappeared, seemingly overnight. Fish kills began to be a regular occurrence.

The cause seemed to be cumulative: development, more farming and industry, more wastewater plants along the length of the rivers, from the Piedmont to the Pamlico Sound, were all contributing to the downward spiral of the rivers’ health. Those concerned with the decline they’d witnessed took action, taking the health of the rivers in their own hands, forming these grassroots organizations to serve as watchdogs for the waterways, holding polluters and the state accountable.

Decades later, boards and staff of both organizations understood the issues affecting both rivers were the same, and in 2015, the Neuse River Foundation and the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation merged to become Sound Rivers, strengthening our impact within the state and becoming a powerful advocate for our most cherished waterways.

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Our Commitment

March 9, 2023

Our Commitment

Sound Rivers is a nonprofit organization that guards the health of the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico river basins. We work with concerned citizens to monitor, protect and preserve these watersheds that cover nearly one-quarter of North Carolina.

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR WATERSHEDS

Our Mission

Sound Rivers’ mission is to monitor and protect the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico River watersheds, preserving the health and beauty of the river basins, and the health of the communities that rely on them.

Sound Rivers is committed to the goal of environmental justice and equity for all people in our watersheds. Our work to protect our waters is more successful when our organization represents the full diversity of people living within our watersheds. We recognize the benefits and impact of diverse leadership, building of trust in impacted communities, and inclusive programs ensuring we serve the needs of all those communities within the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico river basins.

We believe all people should have access to enjoyment of the natural world and a powerful voice in decisions that may affect their environment and health. No group of people should bear a disproportionate share of negative environmental consequences, nor should they have less access to beneficial environmental assets. 

We acknowledge Sound Rivers has historically been a predominantly white organization. While we are working to change that, we are committed to ongoing activities focused on learning, reflection, adaptation and intentional and focused outreach to diverse communities to ensure our work reflects, respects, engages and includes communities of color.

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Our Story

March 9, 2023

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Search

July 7, 2022

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Rose Acre Farms Operating without Permit

March 22nd, 2016

Win for the Coast

March 22nd, 2016

Kids River Fest

March 11th, 2016

Tap The Neuse!

March 4th, 2016

HF Lee Coal Ash Ponds Public Meeting

March 1st, 2016

Riverkeeper Cup Cleanup Challenge

February 24th, 2016

Tar-Pamlico Water Trail Expanding

January 27th, 2016

Fish Consumption Guide Completed for Triangle Area

January 27th, 2016

10th Annual Race for the River Kayakalon

January 13th, 2016

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Resource Library

July 6, 2022

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History & Success

July 6, 2022

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Learn More

July 6, 2022

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