Save the French Broad, One Fish at a Time

Save the French Broad, One Fish at a Time

Save the French Broad, 1 Fish at a Time


For the month of August, fishing will be good throughout the French Broad River Watershed for both fishers and non-fishers alike. In partnership with Sweetwater, MountainTrue is hosting a campaign to clean up the French Broad River through the sale of paper fish in local restaurants, bars and businesses. You can show your support for swimmable, fishable and drinkable water in the French Broad by buying a $1 fish at the following locations:

  • Bier Garden in downtown Asheville
  • Mellow Mushroom in downtown Asheville
  • Cascade Lounge in Asheville
  • WALK (West Asheville Lounge & Kitchen)
  • Ole Shakey’s next to the French Broad
  • Asheville Outdoor Center
  • Hang Out at Climbmax next to the French Broad
  • Thirsty Monk
  • Universal Joint in Asheville
  • Boondocks Brewing Tap Room & Restaurant in downtown West Jefferson
  • Triangle Stop gas stations around Asheville

MountainTrue and Sweetwater have teamed up 10 years in a row to sell paper fish and encourage locals to help clean up the French Broad River. Throughout those 10 years, over $150,000 has been raised to fund the rejuvenation and continual improvement of the French Broad River.

The selling of paper fish occurs in conjunction with the annual Save the French Broad Raft Race where local businesses race each other down the whitewater section of the French Broad. This year, you can expect teams from Bier Garden, Brixx, The Matt & Molly Team, Prestige Subaru, Cascade Lounge, Mellow Mushroom in Asheville, WALK, Liquid Logic, The Southern and Edward Jones to battle their way down the river in rafts donated by Blue Heron Whitewater for a chance to become raft race champions.

If you see the paper fish hanging on the wall at a local eatery, bar or business, buy one and show your support for the French Broad!


Thank you to our Save the French Broad sponsors!

 

Prestige Logo Stacked MM and KW Print


Western North Carolina is blessed with more than 1.5 million acres of public land, including Nantahala-Pisgah National Forest, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway and several state-owned parks, forests and natural areas. These public lands support the headwaters of our rivers, beautiful mountain vistas, one of the most diverse temperate forests on the planet, and a thriving economy in tourism, crafts and recreation.
During its 30-year history, WNCA (now MountainTrue) has twice prevented logging in the Asheville Watershed, first in 1990 and again in 2004. Eventually the City of Asheville placed a conservation easement over 17,356 acres of the watershed.

9/10: Henderson County Big Sweep

9/10: Henderson County Big Sweep

Sept. 10: ‘Big Sweep’ Comes to Henderson County

 

Join the Big Sweep, and Help Keep Our Rivers Clean

Sign Up!

Henderson County, NC – The community is invited to lend a hand and help clean up Henderson County’s rivers and streams. On Saturday, September 10, MountainTrue hosts the annual Henderson County Big Sweep.

The Big Sweep is a county-wide litter cleanup program that brings citizens and community organizations together to clear trash from their waterways. Civic organizations, Scout troops, church groups, school groups, Adopt-A-Stream teams, neighborhood associations, city and county departments, local businesses, and individuals can all pitch in to make our waters cleaner and healthier.

“People get excited for our annual Big Sweep and it’s really inspiring,” says Gray Jernigan, MountainTrue Southern Regional Director. “By working together we can have a huge impact in just one day. Last year we pulled about 1,800 pounds of trash out of area streams. Every year we try for more.”

Participants can join in the fun by registering here.

Form a team with friends and family or join an existing team. Teams will hold cleanups between 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. in waterways throughout the county. For more information or to volunteer for Henderson County Big Sweep with MountainTrue, click here or call (828) 692-0385 ext. 1001.

MountainTrue has hosted Henderson County‘s annual stream clean-up event since 1991, and the Big Sweep is one way it has demonstrated a legacy of engaging citizens in environmental stewardship. Last year, 8 teams made up of 37 volunteers donated 148 hours and removed 1,800 pounds of trash from our streams! Let’s make this year even more successful!

In addition to Big Sweep, MountainTrue’s Clean Water Team coordinates an Adopt-A-Stream monitoring program to keep our waterways clean and healthy all year. Find more information about the MountainTrue at www.mountaintrue.org.


Western North Carolina is blessed with more than 1.5 million acres of public land, including Nantahala-Pisgah National Forest, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway and several state-owned parks, forests and natural areas. These public lands support the headwaters of our rivers, beautiful mountain vistas, one of the most diverse temperate forests on the planet, and a thriving economy in tourism, crafts and recreation.
During its 30-year history, WNCA (now MountainTrue) has twice prevented logging in the Asheville Watershed, first in 1990 and again in 2004. Eventually the City of Asheville placed a conservation easement over 17,356 acres of the watershed.

Bad Coal Ash Bill Being Rushed Through Raleigh

Bad Coal Ash Bill Being Rushed Through Raleigh

Bad Coal Ash Bill Being Rushed Through Raleigh

On the evening of Tuesday, June 28 the North Carolina Senate rushed through a rewrite to H630, the state’s coal ash cleanup law. This bad coal ash bill is quickly making its way through the legislature and we expect the House to take it up as soon as today.

Please call your NC Representative Immediately and ask them to NOT CONCUR with the Senate’s version of House Bill 630. 

Official statement by MountainTrue Co-director Julie Mayfield:

“The legislature’s rewrite of the state’s coal ash cleanup law is a betrayal of the people of North Carolina. The General Assembly has abdicated its responsibility to clean up North Carolina’s coal ash and protect us from the ill effects of toxic pollutants.

“HB630 would disband the Coal Ash Management Commission and with it any effective oversight of the Department of Environmental Quality, which has a poor record of protecting our communities and our environment. Worse, this new legislation delays final classification for North Carolina’s coal ash pits and completely guts the criteria the state uses to determine the threat of these pits to our communities. The result will leave coal ash in place to continue polluting groundwater, our rivers and our streams.

“The strength of the Coal Ash Management Act of 2014 (CAMA) was that it used science to guide the coal ash cleanup effort. That science indicated that there are no low priority coal ash sites or low priority communities. Now the legislature wants to scrap the  protections that are based on that science – protections lawmakers themselves have repeatedly touted as ‘the best in the country.’ The legislature’s willingness to weaken laws that protect so many people from such harmful pollution is both bewildering and shameful.”

Read the full text of H630.

H630, as passed by the Senate, would:

  • eliminate the Coal Ash Management Commission and, with it, legislative oversight over the NC Department of Environmental Quality, a deeply politicized agency with a poor track record;
  • eliminate criteria for risk assessment based on a site’s threats to public health, safety, welfare, the environment and natural resources;
  • give Duke two years, until October 15, 2018, to provide clean drinking water to affected households through a water line or filtration device;
  • require that DEQ classify ponds as “low risk” if dams are repaired and public water supply hookups are provided, regardless of whether they continue to pollute ground and surface waters;
  • allow the DEQ to revise and downgrade their classifications of coal ash pits for 18 months, until November 15, 2018;
  • delay closure plans for low and intermediate sites until December 31, 2019; and
  • give DEQ expanded authority to grant variances and extensions to the deadlines above, creating further delay and less accountability for Duke Energy.

The time to act is NOW. Call your representative and tell them that no North Carolina community is a low priority. Tell them to oppose H630.


Western North Carolina is blessed with more than 1.5 million acres of public land, including Nantahala-Pisgah National Forest, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway and several state-owned parks, forests and natural areas. These public lands support the headwaters of our rivers, beautiful mountain vistas, one of the most diverse temperate forests on the planet, and a thriving economy in tourism, crafts and recreation.
During its 30-year history, WNCA (now MountainTrue) has twice prevented logging in the Asheville Watershed, first in 1990 and again in 2004. Eventually the City of Asheville placed a conservation easement over 17,356 acres of the watershed.

French Broad Riverkeeper Father’s Day Clean-up

French Broad Riverkeeper Father’s Day Cleanup: Good Times and a Great Haul, Y’all

We want to thank all the people who came out for our French Broad Riverkeeper Father’s Day Cleanup. It was hot and sunny, and there were a lot of people splashing around and enjoying the river. And because of the hard work of our volunteers they were doing so in a river with less trash and debris floating in it. 

 


Removed from the river that day were: soda bottles, tires, a lot of tires, a porch swing, a washer/dryer unit and more. Good haul, y’all!

We’d also like to thank all the sponsors who made this event special, especially the owner of French Broad Chocolates, Dan and Jael Rattigan and their two wonderful sons Max and Sam, and Ben Meyers, owner of Vortex Donuts who all joined us for the cleanup. Asheville Greenworks helped us with organizing and provided us with extra boats.

Those who participated in the cleanup received a box of French Broad Chocolates’ Bourbon and Beer collection or handmade flavored marshmallows and a coupon for a free scoop of ice cream. They also received a free raffle ticket for a basket that included prizes and gift certificates from MountainTrue, Nantahala Outdoor Outfitters, Vortex Donuts, Green Man Brewery, Burial Beer Co., Catawba Brewing Company and Buxton Hall. It was great to have so many South Slope businesses supporting our efforts and our river.

WLOS had a cameraperson covering the event from our launch point. You can watch the newsreport here: http://wlos.com/news/local/families-give-back-in-fathers-day-river-cleanup

Want to join the French Broad Riverkeeper for their next cleanup? Come out to Westfeldt River Park on Saturday, July 9 and join us for a special clean up sponsored by Blue Ghost Brewing Company and Nantahala Outdoor Center. Get your hands dirty, then join us for a tasting of the July edition of the Riverkeeper Beer Series.

Hope to see you there!


Western North Carolina is blessed with more than 1.5 million acres of public land, including Nantahala-Pisgah National Forest, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway and several state-owned parks, forests and natural areas. These public lands support the headwaters of our rivers, beautiful mountain vistas, one of the most diverse temperate forests on the planet, and a thriving economy in tourism, crafts and recreation.
During its 30-year history, WNCA (now MountainTrue) has twice prevented logging in the Asheville Watershed, first in 1990 and again in 2004. Eventually the City of Asheville placed a conservation easement over 17,356 acres of the watershed.

June 19: Father’s Day French Broad River Clean-up

June 19: Father’s Day French Broad River Clean-up


June 19: Father’s Day French Broad River Clean-up

French Broad Chocolates, South Slope Businesses, MountainTrue, and Asheville Greenworks Team Up for Our River

Asheville, N.C. — French Broad Chocolates is partnering with MountainTrue’s French Broad Riverkeeper and Asheville Greenworks to present a special Father’s Day River clean-up. Fathers, mothers and children are all invited to come out on the water and lend a hand cleaning up the French Broad River. This will be a rewarding day of hard work. Pulling trash from the river helps to maintain the natural ecosystem and aquatic habitats and provides a cleaner environment for our river-users!

Father’s Day River Clean-Up by French Broad Chocolates, MountainTrue’s French Broad Riverkeeper and Asheville GreenWorks
Hominy Creek River Park, Asheville
June 19 at 10:30 a.m.
Link to register for the River Clean-up: http://action.mountaintrue.org/page/s/fb-river-clean-up-with-fb-chocolate-lounge-and-asheville-greenworks

Father’s Day French Broad River After-Party by French Broad Chocolates, Catawba Brewing Co. and MountainTrue’s French Broad Riverkeeper
Catawba Brewing Co, 32 Banks Avenue, Asheville
June 19 at 4:00 p.m.

As a thank you for all this hard work, participants will receive a goodie bag full of Father’s Day treats from French Broad Chocolates including the seasonal, limited-edition Bourbon & Beer Collection, made with local craft beers and fine spirits. The day’s volunteers will also be invited to join us for pints at an afterparty at Catawba, and will receive a complimentary raffle ticket to win a premium prize package valued at over $300 including products and gift certificates from French Broad Chocolates, Catawba Brewing Co., Buxton Hall, Burial Beer, Vortex Donuts, Green Man Brewery, Nantahala Outdoor Center and MountainTrue. Tia B’s Taco Truck will also be on location.

You don’t need to participate in the cleanup to be part of the fun and help keep the French Broad River clean and beautiful. The public is invited to the afterparty where additional raffle tickets for the South Slope prize package will be for sale and Catawba will be pouring their Astral Booty Beer IPA – proceeds from the sale of each benefit MountainTrue.

Dan Rattigan, co-owner and founder of French Broad Chocolates:
“The French Broad River, our company’s namesake, is a symbol of our relationship to Asheville, and a reminder that we are all connected. I can think of no better way to celebrate Father’s Day than to spend quality time making a positive impact on the river with my wife Jael and our two sons.”

Anna Alsobrook, MountainTrue Assistant French Broad Riverkeeper:
“We all understand how important the French Broad River is to Asheville and our community. We’re thrilled to have partners such as French Broad Chocolates, Catawba Brewing, Buxton Hall BBQ and other South Slope businesses supporting this work and willing to get their hands dirty to help us keep our river clean. Dads, moms, everybody, come out and care for mother earth! We all play a role when it comes protecting the environment.”

This event is a great opportunity to celebrate Father’s Day, make a tangible contribution to Asheville’s most important natural asset, and raise awareness about issues that affect the cleanliness of our French Broad River. The French Broad River is a natural and economic resource for Asheville and the region and is enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. It is home to several fish species and a playground for the thousands of people paddle and play on the river every year.

There are limited canoes available, register your spot today: http://action.mountaintrue.org/page/s/fb-river-clean-up-with-fb-chocolate-lounge-and-asheville-greenworks

For more details or questions about this event, contact Anna Alsobrook, Assistant French Broad Riverkeeper at anna@mountaintrue.org  

 

About French Broad Chocolates:
Husband and wife team, Dan and Jael Rattigan lived and worked in the cacao-rich rainforest of Costa Rica for two years. At the restaurant they opened, Bread and Chocolate, they were able to source local chocolate for their handmade desserts, sparking a passion for cacao and all things chocolate. They moved to Asheville, NC in 2006 to pursue their chocolate path and opened French Broad Chocolates in 2007.

What started as a farmers market stand has grown to include a web store (frenchbroadchocolates.com), a dessert restaurant, French Broad Chocolate Lounge, a boutique, Chocolate + Milk (est. 2008), and a Chocolate Factory & Tasting Room (est. 2012), where they import cacao and then roast, winnow, grind, conche and temper it into bean-to-bar chocolate. The chocolate is transformed into their collection of artisan chocolate bars, and is used as an ingredient in their pastries and confections at the Chocolate Lounge.

Restaurant Summary:
French Broad Chocolate Lounge is devoted to creating superb chocolates and pastries, using ingredients thoughtfully sourced for their integrity. All of our chocolates and desserts are made using our own bean-to-bar chocolate, with cacao sourced directly from small farms and cooperatives, and made right down the road in our Chocolate Factory!  Our mission is to channel our love, our creativity and our passion through the gift of chocolate. We want to create a deeper connection with the source of our food, and we want to share it with you.

French Broad Chocolates + Sustainability:
Our commitment to sustainability and our local economy informs everything we do here at French Broad Chocolates. We aim to support “the little guys,” and we find we’ve found that we can obtain the majority of the ingredients we need from farms and producers right in our backyard (keeping dollars circulating locally as well as reducing our carbon footprint). If unable to buy locally (because, hey, we need things like chocolate and sugar!), we buy direct from farmers in other regions whose food standards match our own. In addition to ethical sourcing, we compost all food waste at both our Factory and the Chocolate Lounge and take great care to use as many biodegradable, compostable, or recyclable materials as possible –  even our gorgeous new bar packaging is 100% compostable and printed locally! We installed a 5-panel solar hot water system, including a 97% efficient hot water heater and ship all of our orders in biodegradable packaging, including insulation and ice packs in warm months. We also participate in programs like Bicycle Benefits, which incentivizes both cycling and supporting local businesses.
frenchbroadchocolates.com

About MountainTrue
MountainTrue fosters and empowers communities throughout the region and engages in policy and project advocacy, outreach and education, and on the ground projects. To achieve our goals, MountainTrue focuses on a core set of issues across 23 counties of Western North Carolina: sensible land use, restoring public forests, protecting water quality and promoting clean energy – all of which have a high impact on the environmental health and long-term prosperity of our residents. MountainTrue is the home of the Watauga Riverkeeper, the primary watchdog and spokesperson for the Elk and Watauga Rivers; the French Broad Riverkeeper, the primary protector and defender of the French Broad River watershed; and Broad River Alliance, a Waterkeeper Affiliate working to promote fishable, swimmable, drinkable waters in the Broad River Basin. For more information: mountaintrue.org
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Western North Carolina is blessed with more than 1.5 million acres of public land, including Nantahala-Pisgah National Forest, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway and several state-owned parks, forests and natural areas. These public lands support the headwaters of our rivers, beautiful mountain vistas, one of the most diverse temperate forests on the planet, and a thriving economy in tourism, crafts and recreation.
During its 30-year history, WNCA (now MountainTrue) has twice prevented logging in the Asheville Watershed, first in 1990 and again in 2004. Eventually the City of Asheville placed a conservation easement over 17,356 acres of the watershed.

New Smartphone App Makes Anyone a Muddy Water Cop

New Smartphone App Makes Anyone a Muddy Water Cop

New Smartphone App Makes Anyone a Muddy Water Cop

Muddy Water Watch Launches New App; Announces Volunteer Trainings

Asheville, N.C. – Now anyone with a smartphone can help report illegal muddy water runoff and sources of sediment pollution. Muddy Water Watch, a project of MountainTrue, the French Broad Riverkeeper and the North Carolina Waterkeepers, has teamed up with Shiny Creek, an Asheville-based enterprise-class web and mobile application development company, to create a new smartphone app that makes documenting sources of dirty water easier than ever.

The Muddy Water Watch app can be downloaded for free from Apple iTunes or the Google Play stores. Once installed on a smartphone or tablet, a user can easily snap a photo of the pollution source, provide notes and submit a report. The report is geotagged so that it goes to the appropriate authority.

“This is a powerful new tool for tracking and shutting down sources of illegal sediment pollution,” explains Hartwell Carson, MountainTrue’s French Broad Riverkeeper. “Identifying the right group or official to submit a report to has always been the biggest challenge for our Muddy Water Watch volunteers. This app solves that problem, makes the reporting process much easier and allows anyone to alert the proper authorities.”

“We are excited to partner with MountainTrue to deliver a mobile app that can really make a difference for the environment here in Asheville where we work and around the country. Hartwell Carson and the crew at MountainTrue have a great team working to protect the environment and we are glad to be a part of that mission,” says Brett Crossley, President, Shiny Creek.

Sediment is the number one pollution source in the French Broad River Watershed and nationwide. It smothers aquatic life, warms the water, reduces oxygen levels, destroys habitats, and clogs fish gills. Sediment pollution often comes from the runoff from construction sites, stream bank erosion, and runoff from agriculture.

New Muddy Water Watch Trainings Announced

With the launch of the new app, MountainTrue and the Riverkeeper have also announced the first three Muddy Water Watch trainings of the season: June 20 at the Public Library in Marshall, June 28 at Haywood Community College’s Regional High Technology Center in Waynesvill and June 30 at REI in Asheville.

  • June 20 – Marshall Public Library from 4 p.m to 7 p.m.
    11 N. Main Street
    Marshall, NC
  •  June 28 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    Haywood Community College, Regional High Technology Center 112 Industrial Park Drive – Room 3021
    Waynesville, NC
  • June 30 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    REI Asheville, 31 Schenck Pkwy, Asheville
    Asheville, NC>> Register for trainings.

Participants will get training on how to identify, document and report sources of sediment pollution. Each training session will also include a site visit to an active construction site.

The French Broad Riverkeeper and Riverkeepers around North Carolina previously held dozens of Muddy Water Watch trainings around the state, training over 150 volunteers and reporting hundreds of sediment runoff from construction sites. This program proved to a great example of how grassroots volunteers can stop our biggest pollution source and clean up our waterways.

“The Muddy Water Watch program is a great way for people to have an immediate impact that benefits our local environment and water quality,” explains Hartwell Carson, MountainTrue French Broad Riverkeeper. “Western North Carolina’s rivers are some of our greatest treasures and economic assets. Both locals and visitors paddle, fish and play in these waters and we need to protect them.”

About Shiny Creek
Shiny Creek designs and builds data-driven cloud-based mobile and web applications for enterprises and nonprofit organizations. Established in 2013, their consulting team includes designers and developers with decades of combined experience taking client ideas from concept to product quickly and efficiently. Shiny Creek has developed applications that range from sports statistics to enterprise data and environmental monitoring. For more information on Shiny Creek, visit www.shinycreek.com.

About MountainTrue
MountainTrue fosters and empowers communities throughout the region and engages in policy and project advocacy, outreach and education, and on the ground projects. To achieve our goals, MountainTrue focuses on a core set of issues across 23 counties of Western North Carolina: sensible land use, restoring public forests, protecting water quality and promoting clean energy – all of which have a high impact on the environmental health and long-term prosperity of our residents. MountainTrue is the home of the Watauga Riverkeeper, the primary watchdog and spokesperson for the Elk and Watauga Rivers; the French Broad Riverkeeper, the primary protector and defender of the French Broad River watershed; and Broad River Alliance, a Waterkeeper Affiliate working to promote fishable, swimmable, drinkable waters in the Broad River Basin. For more information: mountaintrue.org


Western North Carolina is blessed with more than 1.5 million acres of public land, including Nantahala-Pisgah National Forest, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway and several state-owned parks, forests and natural areas. These public lands support the headwaters of our rivers, beautiful mountain vistas, one of the most diverse temperate forests on the planet, and a thriving economy in tourism, crafts and recreation.
During its 30-year history, WNCA (now MountainTrue) has twice prevented logging in the Asheville Watershed, first in 1990 and again in 2004. Eventually the City of Asheville placed a conservation easement over 17,356 acres of the watershed.