Coastal Carolina Riverwatch’s staff and board have made great strides in 2023 to protect our communities quality water and support a quality life along our coast. Throughout the year we have expanded our Water Quality for Fisheries program and our Pure Farms, Pure Waters work, engaged with local communities and state governments, and influenced policy across coastal North Carolina.
In the following pages, you’ll discover the dedicated efforts we’ve invested in our mission. As we strive to advance our cause, we are looking for financial support from our valued members. Your contributions will play a pivotal role in funding student interns and acquiring a vital water quality instrument capable of assessing sedimentation in the field. Your generosity will propel our endeavors forward, ensuring a meaningful impact in our shared mission.
Partnerships That Make a Difference
At CCRW we recognize the power of collaboration and this year we were thrilled to join forces with dedicated organizations that share our commitment to safeguarding our waterways. From the successful North Carolina Marine Debris Symposium, a beach cleanup with Easy Honey, and the collaborative Advocacy Working Group meetings with community members throughout the White Oak River Basin, to research projects with Duke University Marine Lab, UNC Institute for Marine Sciences and SouthWings. These partnerships have allowed us to address water quality issues from multiple angles and expand our impact.
We’ve also taken significant steps to raise awareness and effect change through strategic collaborations. Our work with Waterkeepers Carolina, Waterkeeper Alliance, NC Conservation Network, CleanAIRE NC and Southern Environmental Law Center involved the creation and dissemination of educational materials on pivotal bills, empowering communities with knowledge to advocate for their right to clean water.
Influencing Policy for Lasting Impact
Advocacy is not just about raising awareness; it’s about driving tangible change. CCRW has actively engaged in policy initiatives aimed at creating lasting improvements in water quality. By uniting our voices, we advocated for policies that ensure responsible floodplain management, contributing to the resilience of our coastal communities and preventing pollution from contaminating our rivers.
Our commitment to accountability has led us to actively participate in public comment opportunities on critical government policy decisions at the state and national level, such as the importing of GenX-Containing Wastes by Chemours, the National Environmental Policy Act, protection of Waters of the US and Wetlands, and the Uniform Floodplain Management Policy for State Property.
Advocacy Working Group: Empowering Advocates, Transforming Communities
The Advocacy Working Group (AWG) at CCRW has been a driving force in our mission to protect coastal habitat, water quality, and the overall quality of life in our local communities. Committed to creating and supporting advocates, the AWG is dedicated to providing resources that empower our members to educate others, influence local governments, and champion the unique interests of their communities.
In Action: Advocating for a Sustainable Future
Throughout 2023, the AWG members have participated in over 20 public hearings and represented the group in front of eight different municipalities. CCRW has also extended its influence through participation in a North Carolina Lobby Day in March, accompanied by community member Logan Louis and Beaufort Town Commissioner Melvin Cooper.
Making Waves Beyond Meetings
The AWG has made its mark beyond the meeting room, actively participating in local outreach in their local communities. Noteworthy is the group’s involvement in community events, such as NC’s Factory Farm permit hearings, The Smell of Money screenings (twice), and Tidal Alert film screenings (thrice).
Knowledge is Power: Building Capacity Through Education
The AWG recognizes the importance of building capacity, hosting meetings throughout the year. The AWG meetings covered crucial topics, including public comment training and White Oak River Basin plan training. In an effort to extend their impact, the AWG played a pivotal role in assisting community members from Morehead City, Peletier, Cape Carteret, Sneads Ferry, Beaufort, Emerald Isle, and Pine Knoll Shores in preparing public comments.
As we look back on the accomplishments of the Advocacy Working Group, it’s evident that their dedication to grassroots advocacy and community empowerment has been a driving force for positive change. We applaud their unwavering commitment to protecting our coastal ecosystems and look forward to the continued impact of the AWG in the years to come.
Join the Advocacy Working Group and be a part of a growing force for good!