New staff members have big field week

Environmental, Sound Rivers

Posted on March 9th, 2023

(Left to right) Intern William Wallace, Volunteer Coordinator Emily Fritz and Water-Quality Specialist Taylor Register donned chest waders this week to scout out Trash Trout locations.

Sound Rivers’ new staff members were in and on the water this week, as Pamlico-Tar Riverkeeper Jill Howell introduced them to field work.

On Monday, Water-Quality Specialist Taylor Register and Volunteer Coordinator Emily Fritz joined Jill and Sound Rivers’ Program Director Clay Barber at the New Bern Trash Trout on Duffyfield Canal for a tutorial on taking water samples, and on Wednesday, the two met up with Jill and Sound Rivers’ intern William Wallace to narrow down possible locations for a Trash Trout on the Tar River.

“We went out to Greenville, to two locations that we thought might be good areas to potentially install Trash Trouts,” Taylor said.

The first, at the Town Creek Culvert off of Town Common in Uptown Greenville, did not pass the test. William, Emily and Taylor donned chest waders and waded into the culvert to determine depth — and it was pretty deep.

“It was unfortunately not a good location — not easily accessible for volunteers,” Taylor said. “But while we were out there, we recovered some old fishing line hung up at Town Creek Culvert — which is a reminder to properly dispose of fishing line.”

Pamlico-Tar Riverkeeper Jill Howell (right) shows Volunteer Coordinator Emily Fritz (left) and Water-Quality Specialist Taylor Register the intricacies of water sampling.

A second location, that of Greens Mill Run in Green Spring Park, proved more ideal, as it is easily accessible, shallow and is the appropriate width.

Later that day, the plan was to do PFAs sampling, but the team shifted tasks when it became clear the cloudiness on Maple Branch in Washington had returned. Samples were taken at three separate locations along Maple Branch, all to be tested for bacteria and turbidity.

Taylor said she was excited to be introduced to the full scope of work she’ll be doing, and the surprising part about this first week was how reactive the work can be: “I would say it was more of a concept of how flexible we had to be this week. Plans and priorities can change in an instant.”

Intern William Wallace fishes fishing line out of Town Creek Culvert in Greenville.


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