Riverkeeper, intern take a ‘creekwalk’

Environmental, Neuse River Watershed, Sound Rivers, Water Quality

Posted on October 19th, 2023

Neuse Riverkeeper Samantha Krop and water-quality intern Maya Hardison mid-"creek walk."

On Monday, Neuse Riverkeeper Samantha Krop and water-quality intern Maya Hardison donned waders and took a walking tour of an urban waterway.

“Maya and I walked a segment of Little Rock Creek from Chavis Park downstream, to assess the health of the creek and identify possible sources of bacteria pollution,” Sam said. “We were overwhelmed by how much trash was in the creek, that had washed down from the roads and nearby neighborhoods. It really hammered home for us how much stormwater runoff is an issue in urban areas, and how much we collectively have to deal with this trash problem as urban communities.”

Runoff from urban streets and parking lots washes plenty of trash into Little Rock Creek.

Little Rock Creek is a tributary of Walnut Creek and flows through the grounds of the Walnut Creek Wetland Center. Walnut Creek recently received recognition as a federal urban waterway, which means that more money and resources will be available to care for it. It also runs through a historically low income, and predominantly black community, in an especially flood-prone part of the watershed.

By walking the creek, Sam and Maya were able to access parts of Little Rock Creek normally not accessible. What they found was plenty of exposed, defunct sewer infrastructure, and even a broken pipe, tumbling into the creek. Sam said the find points to the importance of infrastructure updates

“We are thankful that some major sewer-line upgrades are currently underway in this area,” she said. “This sort of ‘creekwalk’ is an excellent way for us to get to know the places that we work, and to get a better sense of pollution sources happening in the Stream. We also had the opportunity to connect with some neighbors when we were walking in and around the creek, and folks expressed to us that they were thankful we were looking out for the local waterway.”

Water-quality intern Maya Hardison takes a turbidity sample in Little Rock Creek.

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