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Sound Rivers documentary explores past, present and future

March 21, 2023

Sound Rivers documentary explores past, present and future

Sound Rivers’ documentary premieres in the fall

We’re taking Sound Rivers’ story to the big screen!

Of the several projects currently underway to highlight Sound Rivers’ past 40 years of advocacy and education, one will tell its story visually, from its founding by two separate organizations to its work moving forward, through the voices of our storytellers: founders and partners, those fighting for clean water and the next generations of environmental advocacy.
Interweaving the common thread of community activism through the organization’s past, present and future, the documentary will unite viewers of all demographics in a common purpose: to be a part of the change.
Tackling this project is Washington native and filmmaker Rain Bennett, who has a mission to inspire people of all ages.
“I hope to inspire action — specifically from the Millennial and Gen-Z generations. I am aiming at the hearts of younger eastern North Carolina locals to take up the fight Sound Rivers began four decades ago,” Bennett said.
After several months of honing the narrative and recruiting our storytellers and experts to provide background and the science behind issues, Bennett began filming on March 31 with interviews of Dick and Becky Leach (instrumental in founding Pamlico-Tar River Foundation) and Doris Stith (community activist, who experienced the historical flooding of Princeville during Hurricane Floyd in 1999). He wrapped up filming on Aug. 13, with some amazing aerial footage of Pamlico-Tar Riverkeeper Jill Howell patrolling the Tar River.
“I honestly had no idea all the work Sound Rivers had done over the past 40 years. In my preliminary research, I’ve become so aware of the challenges they face — and that we all face — and the importance of their mission,” Bennett said. “To create this documentary means I get to do what I love, to help protect a place I love and fight for the people whom I love. I am forever grateful for that.”
In October, Sound Rivers will premiere the film during a virtual event. Stay tuned for details!
Be on the lookout for a sneak-peek: a trailer for the Sound Rivers’ 40th-anniversary documentary will be released soon!

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Gift Membership

March 21, 2023

Gift the Gift of Clean Water

Looking for the perfect gift? Gift a Sound Rivers membership to your loved one! Your gift recipient will:

  • Receive a card letting them know you made a gift of clean water in their name, and a Sound Rivers sticker
  • Begin receiving our quarterly newsletter, Currents
  • Be recognized by name in our Annual Report.

Use the link below to make a special gift membership!

Please note: Fill out the first part of the contact information on the form with YOUR contact information to ensure proper credit card processing, and the enter your gift recipient’s information below in the fields indicated. If you would like to remain anonymous (and not let the gift recipient know you are the giver) please indicate that in the “comments” field.

[imic_button colour=”btn-primary” type=”enabled” link=”https://crm.bloomerang.co/HostedDonation?ApiKey=pub_acc3f62f-8928-11e9-9f3d-0aa640fb8062&WidgetId=10568704″ target=”_blank” extraclass=”” size=””]Give the gift of clean water here![/imic_button]

 

Want to give a gift membership but would rather make your purchase via mail? Send your check to Sound Rivers, PO Box 15451, New Bern, NC 28561, and include your gift recipient’s name and address.

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NC Pipeline Watch

March 21, 2023

Update:

North Carolina Pipeline Watch (NCPW) Mapping System

Alleghany Blue Ridge Alliance (ABRA) and their Pipeline Compliance Surveillance Initiative (CSI) program has built a new mapping system showing the path of the pipeline that allows us to target pipeline crossings at streams and wetland crossings for monitoring locations.

Background

Since the proposal of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), Sound Rivers has been working to oppose this project as it threatens the most vulnerable communities and ecosystems, and will only further entrench extractive energy industries.

 

One of the many strategies Sound Rivers has pursued in our opposition to the pipeline is the development of North Carolina Pipeline Watch (NCPW), a community training and monitoring program. NCPW was formed by Sound Rivers in coordination with the Sierra Club, Winyah Rivers Foundation, and Cape Fear River Watch.  When construction on the ACP began in North Carolina in 2018, Sound Rivers worked to mobilize and train volunteers through NCPW to monitor construction activities, create infrastructure to collect field reports, and have regional experts bring those issues to the agencies for enforcement. These activities were meant to encourage community members to take action, identify illegal construction practices (e.g., sediment and erosion control violations) detrimental to the health of our waterways, and ultimately stop the construction of the pipeline.

 

Pipeline construction has been stalled since December 2018 because eight federal and state permits have been vacated by the courts; decisions that the ACP partners are vigorously attacking. Additionally, the fate of the pipeline ultimately hinges on a case heard in the Supreme Court this past February as well as efforts by energy companies’ lobby for federal rule changes in their favor.  To date, 6% of the pipeline has been constructed and we fully anticipate that construction could restart in North Carolina in 2020 with the reissuance of a biological opinion by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The ACP partners have prioritized construction in North Carolina once legal hurdles have been cleared.

 

Sound Rivers paused trainings for NCPW when construction was put on hold over a year ago. Due to the recent Supreme Court hearing and in anticipation of the reissuance of the biological opinion, Sound Rivers and a number of other community and environmental groups including Winyah Rivers Foundation, Cape Fear Riverwatch, Sierra Club, Blue Ridge Alleghany Alliance, and Appalachian Voices have mobilized to re-start NCPW.

 

Given the current situation around COVID-19, Sound Rivers and our NCPW partners are working on how to make this program, which is centered around engaging with and training volunteers, possible for when construction does resume. We will continue to provide updates on the status of ACP construction and opportunities to be involved in monitoring efforts.

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Blue Living Tips

March 21, 2023

We understand the impact that a changing climate is having on our daily lives. The problem seems overwhelming. But there are many things we can do individually that together will make a difference. See some of the tips below. If you have a tip to share, please email it to info@soundrivers.org.

  • Reduce, reuse and recycle: Yep, that still works!
  • Use water more efficiently: Less water, less energy to pump to your home.
  • Commit to eating more plants and less meat: Livestock contribute 14.5% of global emissions. You can significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions by eating less meat, choosing local foods when possible and buying food with less packaging.
  • Install a smart thermometer and other ways to reduce energy use at home
  • Plant more trees and/or support groups who do
  • Vote! Check out resources like vote411.org
  • Be active in your community and find ways to support youth led movements

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” the Lorax (Dr. Suess)

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In-Kind Support

March 21, 2023

Support Clean Water With Your Equipment or Silent Auction Gift

Sound Rivers accepts a variety of in-kind donations!

Our current organization-wide needs include:

  • Boats of all types
  • PFDs, paddles, other paddling supplies

Sound Rivers is also collecting items for our Oyster Roast Silent Auction in November 2020!

Some examples of popular donated items include:

  • Visual art (paintings, framed nature photographs, etc.)
  • Services (spa packages, etc.)
  • Vacation Packages (from a one-night stay to a week-long rental!)
  • River Related Activities and Entertainment (river cruises, fishing trips, etc.)
  • And more!

Have something to contribute? Contact us with this form – please describe your item in the comments – and we’ll get back to you asap! Any donated items are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

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Oyster Roast Attendee FAQs

March 21, 2023

We’ve gathered some FAQs from the three decades of Oyster Roasts! If you have a question, check below, we may have an answer! Don’t see your question answered here? Email info@soundrivers.org or call 252-946-7211!

Entry (General Admission Tickets) FAQ’s and Info

  • Doors open at 6pm, not before
  • Check-in is located in the Civic Center, south entrance (signs will be posted)
  • Reservation list with names, no tickets are required. If your name isn’t on the list, check in under the name of the person who purchased your tickets.
  • A wrist band and beer cup will be provided
  • We will be checking IDs so please have yours out and ready

General FAQs

  • There are plenty of oysters- no one will leave hungry- we promise! If you’re having trouble finding space for your group, just enjoy a beer, eat some chili or chowder (located in the dance hall) and return to the tables in a little while. 
  • Oyster knives are made available to everyone; located outside on the oyster tables. You can bring your own if you’d like. 
  • Melted butter and sauce are located near the oyster tables; served by our amazing volunteers. Please know that, due to the cold night, the butter will be provided in smaller amounts to avoid waste. You can certainly return for seconds if needed. 
  • Three breweries are located outside near the oyster tables. All the beer has been donated- we are grateful for our partnership with these great local breweries! 
  • Sodas and water are available inside; large coolers in the dance hall
  • Chili and Chowder are provided inside, in the dance hall.
  • Oyster Tables, except for sponsors, are first-come, first-serve. 
  • This event is a “come as you are” event. Casual, dressed up– whatever you feel like, we just want you to stay warm, have fun, and enjoy the evening. 
  • If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask a staff member or volunteer. We want you to have a great time. 

Silent Auction

  • Silent Auction bidding happens throughout the night – if you have questions about an item, a volunteer or staff member is available to help
  • Bidding closes at 9pm – please give us several moments to organize before coming to claim your item
  • It helps Sound Rivers’ staff immensely if you’re able to take your item home that night!
  • All Silent Auction proceeds benefit your Riverkeepers, so please bid generously, and have fun!

Sponsor FAQs and Info

  • Doors open at 6pm
  • We have a separate check-in table for our sponsors and guests located inside the Civic Center (south entrance)
  • No tickets required
  • For sponsorships with reserved oyster and inside tables, look for the “Reserved” signs printed with your logos.
  • Wine will be provided this year for our sponsors at reserved tables

VIP FAQs and Info

  • Doors open for our VIPs at 5pm
  • Check-in is outdoors at the oyster tables where you will receive your VIP gift bag
  • Access to VIP lounge during the evening, located in a classroom along the civic center hallway. Wine and sweets will be available throughout the evening for our VIPs. (Keep your VIP lanyard on so you can easily enter the lounge.)
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Ask NC DEQ To Protect Waterways From Swine Industry Waste

March 21, 2023

On Tuesday, November 27th, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) held a meeting to discuss the permit intended to protect our communities and waterways from industrial swine waste. The permit determines how the 9.5 billion gallons of waste per year from these facilities is managed, and is opened up for improvements only once every 5 years. Our staff were present to urge DEQ to implement measures to better strengthen existing regulations and protect our waters from pollution, but they need to hear from you as well!

The current method of waste management on these industrial hog facilities is to store hog feces in unlined, open air cesspools that are at risk of being flooded or damaged by heavy rainfall. The waste is sprayed onto fields, often causing waste to runoff into nearby creeks and streams. Unfortunately, this method not only contributes to surface and ground water pollution, but to air pollution and decreases quality of life for the neighbors of these facilities as well.

What we’re asking for:

  • Smithfield Foods, the multinational company that makes hundreds of millions of profits annually, and other corporations that contract with North Carolina operations for swine production, should share responsibility for managing the waste produced by the animals they own.
  • DEQ needs to collect sufficient data to assess hog waste pollution and make it publicly available.
  • DEQ should require mandatory groundwater monitoring where there is evidence of off-site impacts (or could simply say pollution of) to our water table.
  • DEQ should require swine facilities to evaluate the risk of phosphorus pollution from land applied animal waste, using an established formula that was created at great taxpayer expense.
  • Operators must be required to submit records to DEQ for public review of land application of waste, cropping, stocking, and soil or lagoon sampling to better inform DEQ of pollution risks and improve transparency.

Please help protect water quality from industrial hog pollution, send a letter by December 21st to have your input considered during this initial process of drafting the permit. Your voice is important, and now is the time.

Thank you for taking action for the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico!

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Volunteer

March 21, 2023

Volunteer

Volunteer Today

Interested in volunteering for Clean Water? Great!
Below are descriptions of some of our volunteer opportunities; fill out the form and let us know what you’re interested in!

Trash Trap Volunteer

Trash Traps are passive litter traps that will float on the surface of the creeks, are attached to the banks, and capture all the floating trash before it ends up making its way down to the Pamlico and Neuse rivers. Once the trash is captured in the trap, it needs to be manually removed and sorted. We are looking for volunteers in Washington and New Bern:

Trash Trap Scouter

We’ve never done this before and don’t know how quickly the trap will fill up with trash. It would be great to have a few folks who can be our eyes on the trout, to swing by once a week and after a rain storm to snap a few photos and see how full the trap is, and if it’s in need of a clean out.

Event Volunteer

Throughout the year Sound Rivers has events all over Eastern NC – from our large fundraiser, the Oyster Roast a, to the educational Kids River Fest, to small screenings and fun get-togethers. Let us know if you want to volunteer for a specific event (mention it in the “comments” section on the form below.)

Clean-Up Crew

Willing to wade into the creek and pull trash out of the trap (we can provide waders and gloves).

Trash Auditors

For those who don’t want to get in the creek, we need help tallying up the trash.

Office/Mailing Volunteer

We have some opportunities in our Washington, NC or New Bern, NC offices for stuffing envelopes, data entry, office organization, and more! For this volunteer opportunity, we are looking for volunteers available on weekdays.

Water Cleanups – Organizer

We do cleanups throughout the year, typically organized by our Riverkeepers, but the more we can do, the better the waters will be! Are you interested in taking a leadership role and helping to organize and run your own cleanup, with support from Sound Rivers’ staff? This is the opportunity for you! (Ages 18+ please.)

Water Quality Monitoring

Our greatest need for volunteers is in the summer months during our Swim Guide program. Swim Guide is weekly samples collected by volunteers from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend. Throughout the year we need volunteers less frequently, but on weekdays. If you have daytime availability Monday through Thursday, please let us know in the comments of the form below so we can contact you when we need volunteers. Training and materials provided!

Water Trail Steward

Interested in making a significant impact on public access to waterways, by taking on a leadership role at Sound Rivers? Water Trail Stewards will help manage our Tar-Pamlico Water Trail, regularly inspecting the camping platforms for needed repairs, and helping to keep them in good working order.

Don’t see what you’re looking for but still want to volunteer?
Go ahead and fill out the form below and let us know what your thoughts are!

Volunteer Today
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Atlantic Coast Pipeline

March 21, 2023

Background

Sound Rivers and our allies are working to protect our waterways from the impacts of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), that would carry fracked gas through West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina. If permitted and completed, the ACP would impact hundred of waterways, many in the Tar-Pamlico and Neuse Watersheds. While we are working to stop this pipeline, we’re also preparing for the worst and looking at how we can best protect our watersheds during construction if it is built.

Compliance Monitoring – You Can Help!

This year we will be organizing workshops along the proposed pipeline route to train volunteers in how to monitor construction activities for compliance with water quality regulations. We will provide participants with tools to collect valuable information about construction activities, and how to effectively get that information addressed by state and federal agencies tasked with protection of our water resources.

Interested in helping out by getting trained, or helping organize a training? Please fill out this volunteer form and we’ll be in touch as we get details worked out!

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