The Green Riverkeeper is the key protector and watchdog of the Green River Basin in Western North Carolina. MountainTrue’s Green Riverkeeper Gray Jernigan, who also serves as our Southern Regional Director, fights for safe and healthy waterways for all citizens of the Green River watershed. Gray brings together and empowers local residents and communities to identify pollution sources, advocate for and enforce environmental laws, and participate in restoration projects. The Green Riverkeeper serves the Green River Basin beginning at the headwaters on the eastern slope of DuPont State Recreational Forest and draining southern and eastern Henderson County before flowing across Polk County and joining the Broad River on the border with Rutherford County.
Keep the Green River Clean
You can help keep the Green River Basin healthy and clean by volunteering with one of our river cleanups or other events. If you are interested in volunteering, click the button below or email Gray Jernigan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Green Riverkeeper Work
The Green Riverkeeper carries out the following programs and initiatives:
- VWIN Water Quality Monitoring Program where volunteers take water samples throughout the Green River watershed to ensure that our waterways are clean and healthy.
- Recreation/Access: The Green Riverkeeper works with local individuals and groups to improve access to paddling and recreational opportunities on the Green River.
- Stormwater management will occur through the Muddy Water Watch program, a citizen-led initiative to reduce the amount of sediment polluting our waterways.
- SMIE Biomonitoring Program through which the Green Riverkeeper will be leading workshops and trainings so that citizen scientists can help determine the presence of certain aquatic insects, which are great indicators of river health.
- Patroling the watershed for polluting activities and serving as a resource and point of contact for the public on issues related to the Green River.
Green Riverkeeper News
Rethinking the Smart Growth principles, updates on Duke’s long-term energy plan, upcoming cleanups and hikes and more!
In our most recent blog post, our High Country Water Quality Administrator Hannah Woodburn explains that while personal change is important, our consumer choices alone are not enough to fix the plastics pollution crisis. Check out Hannah’s post to learn more about the history of plastic pollution, ongoing legislation to combat the issue and our sampling program to identify microplastics in WNC’s waters.
Millions of people across North Carolina take to our beaches, rivers and lakes to cool off, swim, paddle, and fish, but most are unaware that nearly 16 million gallons of untreated sewage spilled into our waterways during a two and a half month period this summer. North Carolina desperately needs to update its public spill notification system. Act now.
MountainTrue Pollution Tip Leads to Enforcement Action Against Tryon International Equestrian Center
On July 27, MountainTrue followed up on a public complaint of sediment flowing into White Oak Creek from the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TEIC). Video showed a significant discharge of muddy water flowing off the site into the creek. MountainTrue’s Green Riverkeeper reported the issue to the NC Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Water Resources (DWR) and DWR sent an inspector to the equestrian center where they witnessed site contractors flushing sediment into the center’s stormwater drainage system, and failures in their stormwater management system.
The big takeaway from the Neighborhood Compatibility Meeting was that there is absolutely no way that this project is appropriate for the location and that the rezoning request should be denied. Thank you to the 115 community members that tuned in, to the over 160 community members that submitted questions in advance, and to more than 50 people that asked questions live during the meeting, none of which we believe were sufficiently answered by the developer.
MountainTrue’s Clean Water Team works hard to monitor and improve the quality of water in the region, but the so-called “Navigable Waters Protection Rule” would create a huge challenge for our daily work. Will you call on your Representatives to say no to this rule?
We have compiled a map of farms in our region that feed us while using practices that support healthy rivers, lakes and streams. Check out the map to find sustainable farms in your local watershed, and sign the pledge to support sustainable farms here.
The Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests are the headwaters of seven major river systems, providing drinking water for millions of people in four southeastern states and wildlife habitat for a bewildering array of native species. Unfortunately, the current draft plan is inadequate in a few very important ways when it comes to water quality protections and we need you to speak up. The deadline for public comments is June 29 and this is our last significant chance to have our say. Please submit your comment today!
MountainTrue will kick off our series of topic-specific info session on the Nantahala-Pisgah National Forest Management Plan on Tuesday, April 28 with a deep dive into water quality issues in the draft plan.
As social creatures, we need to maintain our connections and find new ways to lean on each other during hard times. As creatures of nature, we need to connect with our forests, our rivers and the plants and animals we share this planet with. Today more than ever, we appreciate how important clean water and healthy forests are to our mountain communities.