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Ellerbe Creek Wetland Walk a wealth of shared knowledge

Environmental, Sound Rivers, Stormwater Issues, Water Quality, Wetlands

Posted on June 20th, 2024

Wetland walkers tour the waterways of the Pearl Mill Nature Preserve.

Neuse Riverkeeper Samantha Krop joined 22 other wetland walkers for a day at the Pearl Mill Nature Preserve in Durham last Saturday.

The Ellerbe Creek Wetland Walk was hosted by three groups — Sound Rivers, Carolina Wetlands Association and the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association — all of which had plenty to add to the conversation, according to Samantha.

“The group that attended — a lot of folks were experts in different fields, from policy, to aquatic bugs, to wetlands. I’ve never been on a walk where there were so many experts in different parts of the work we do. It was wonderful to spend time with people with so much expertise and knowledge to share,” she said.

The group toured the nature preserve, talked about water quality, discussed aquatic “critters” and delved into the value of wetlands.

“The wetlands there are connected to continuous surface-water supplies. The tributary we were on is a prong of south Ellerbe Creek and is one of the most polluted in Ellerbe Creek because of urban runoff,” Samantha said.

While on the walk, the group also saw impacts of sediment pollution from runoff from a nearby construction site. However, Samantha said there were plenty of encouraging sights, including installation of green stormwater infrastructure to help improve water quality.

“I think the whole day was a good balance between a recognition of water-quality issues, which was the reason so many people came to the event in the first place, and the good work being done by local stewards to address them,” she said. “People really, really care about Ellerbe Creek — a lot of experts with knowledge about these issues really care about that creek, so I was encouraged.”

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