Sound Rivers celebrates 40 years of working for clean water

This is a special year for Sound Rivers — we’re celebrating our 40th anniversary! Keep an eye out for special programming shining a light on the incredible work that you, our clean-water community, have been a part of for four decades.

In honor of our 40th, we had special events planned throughout the year, starting with the launch of our 40 Stories for 40 Years series highlighting the many volunteers who have dedicated their time and effort to Sound Rivers’ mission of protecting our waterways and the people who rely on them for everything from drinking water to recreation.

It’s been 40 years of fighting for clean water — your water — and we still have an uphill battle. We need to protect North Carolina’s waterways, especially the millions of acres of wetlands affected by recent rollbacks. Wetlands are critical to our ability to withstand flooding, especially as flooding threats due to climate change increase.

In April, we launched our Clean Water April Challenge, in which generous supporters matched your gifts up to $25,000. Sound Rivers’ supporters stepped up and overwhelmed us with their generosity in return, blowing past our goal of $50,000 to a total of $59,114 — our largest April match campaign, ever.

In July, we had great success with our sustaining monthly gift program, and many of you generously stepped up to give each month! Thank YOU!

On Oct. 17, we launched the Pamlico Paddle! Pamlico-Tar Riverkeeper Jill Howell and Environmental Projects Coordinator Clay Barber were at it again, heading out Oct. 17 on another epic paddling adventure, this time, a five-day kayaking trip down the Pamlico River. They took where they left off on last October’s Tour de Tar, a 10-day trip from Oxford to Washington. We followed along while they prepped, then took to the river, along with a special guest: First Mate Miller, also known as the Adventure Pup.

On Nov. 30, we premiered “A Sound River,” our 40th-anniversary film that explores 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. Learn more about the short film here!

Celebrate with us in our 40th year — keep checking in to this page, as we’ll be updating with special events, news and adding more stories each week to our 40 Stories page.

We couldn’t have reach this major milestone without you and all you do for your waterways. We have hope for Sound Rivers’ future, a clean-water future — a future that belongs to all of us.