Cape Fear River Watch

“I know the following to be true, as do conservation philanthropist Louis Bacon and The Orton Foundation: this river is worth the fight.” – Kemp Burdette, Cape Fear Riverkeeper and Executive Director of Cape Fear River Watch

Cape Fear River Watch (CFRW) protects and improves the water quality of the Cape Fear River through education, advocacy and action. Educating thousands of adults and children each year on the importance of clean water and healthy waterways, CFRW engages hundreds of volunteers to help clean up waterways, remove invasive species, and provide educational activities. It also introduces hundreds of people to the river through paddle trips and guided boat rides, and advocates on behalf of the river. Major issues include Factory Farms (CAFOs), coal ash, fish restoration – and connecting the people in the Cape Fear River watershed to their river.

Cape Fear River Watch board member Melissa Juhan teaches children about anadromous fish in the Cape Fear River at StriperFest Education Day. Photo: Lumina News

Cape Fear River Watch board member Melissa Juhan teaches children about anadromous fish in the Cape Fear River at StriperFest Education Day. Photo: Lumina News

With support from Louis Bacon and The Orton Foundation, CFRW uses many strategies to force factory farms to “clean up their acts.” CFRW has documented illegal pollution associated with factory farms throughout the Cape Fear Basin. It has used water sampling and documentation to support ongoing legal cases against factory farms resulting in enforcement action at these facilities. It has educated and organized communities to oppose new slaughterhouse facilities – keeping these pollution intensive operations out of the Cape Fear Basin, and opposed the reclassification of the Lower Cape Fear to prevent the downgrading of water quality protections. CFRW has met with legislators to urge them to pass stronger regulations that protect water quality from the negative impacts of factory farms.

Cape Fear Riverkeeper Kemp Burdette, also Executive Director of Cape Fear River Watch, monitors coal ash groundwater contamination

Cape Fear Riverkeeper Kemp Burdette, also Executive Director of Cape Fear River Watch, monitors coal ash groundwater contamination

“Support from The Orton Foundation allows Cape Fear River Watch to aggressively fight pollution associated with unsustainable factory farms throughout the watershed. This work is improving the Cape Fear River for all North Carolinians; strengthening our environment, our economy, and our quality of life.”
– Kemp Burdette, Executive Director, CFRW

Learn more about Cape Fear River Watch and its work here.