Poultry Farm Aerial Investigations

Our White Oak Waterkeeper recently went on a flight with SouthWings pilot, Rolf, to observe Poultry and Hog Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). The goal of the flight was to identify farms in the White Oak River Basin and look for permit violations that can lead to contamination in waterways. 

SouthWings is a nonprofit conservation organization that provides a network of volunteer pilots to advocate for the restoration and protection of ecosystems across the Southeast through flight. Partnerships with SouthWings provides unique opportunities to our own small nonprofit that allow the White Oak Waterkeeper to better observe pollution and assess water quality in our complex network of creeks and rivers. 

PHOTOS: LEWIS, 2022 – A poultry CAFO (Left) and Hog CAFO (Upper right).

North Carolina is the number one largest swine and poultry producer in the nation.

Most hog and poultry CAFOs in the White Oak Water Basin are located in and around the Town of Richlands but specific locations of poultry CAFOs are not readily known. Because of the limited regulations, the NCDEQ does not have information on the location or waste disposal practices of many of these industrial-scale chicken and turkey farms. 


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