Our Rivers Need You

North Carolina’s rivers teem with life and provide important habitats for native forest animals, fish, bugs, and all kinds of other critters. They’re where we paddle and play with our friends and families.

Unfortunately, our rivers are threatened, and many fail to meet basic water quality standards — especially after heavy rainstorms.

With your help we can protect our waterways. Together, we can change the way our local governments and regulatory agencies operate, get more funding to help solve the problems, and win the support of elected officials in Western North Carolina and Raleigh. But to win, we need you.

Featured Action

TAKE ACTION TO FIGHT E. COLI POLLUTION IN OUR RIVERS

DNA testing conducted by the French Broad Riverkeeper of the French Broad River, one of our region’s most polluted waterways, has confirmed that cattle followed by faulty or inadequate sewer, septic or water treatment infrastructure are the major sources of E. coli pollution. We’ve done the DNA testing. We know the sources. Now we have the solutions to clean up our rivers.

Stand up for science-based policies to help farmers fence cattle out of streams and property owners fix their septic systems and major investments in water infrastructure.

Our Three-Step Plan To Clean Up Our Rivers

Let’s upgrade aging city sewer systems and fix broken septic systems so we can keep poop out of our waterways. Heavy rainstorms overload our stormwater and sewer infrastructure and cause overflows and backups. Failing septic systems don’t treat sewage properly, and our streams are polluted as a result. Find out how we can fix our pipes to make our rivers run clean and clear.
Learn more and take action.
Let’s give our farmers a helping hand to keep stormwater runoff from polluting our waters. We love our farmers and all the delicious food they grow for us. They deserve more resources to fully protect our streams from sediment, fertilizer and animal waste runoff. This includes options like fencing livestock out of streams, constructing heavy use feeding pads, renovating pastures, and expanding stream buffers to filter polluted runoff.
Learn more and take action.
​Let’s unclog our rivers and streams by cutting down our reliance on single-use plastics. MountainTrue and other local conservation groups clean up thousands of tons of garbage from local waterways — most of it plastic bottles and bags. This trash isn’t just ugly. It’s dangerous for fish and other aquatic life too. Find out how you can cut single-use plastics out of your life and support local government bans on plastic bags and straws.
Learn more and take action.

More Clean Water Actions & Updates

Take Action Against Single-Use Plastic Pollution in Boone

Take Action Against Single-Use Plastic Pollution in Boone

Plastic pollution: we've all seen it littered on the side of the road, blowing in the wind, floating down rivers and streams.   Plastic pollution is a global problem, but we all have to be part of the solution. Together, we can stop plastic pollution at its...

MountainTrue FAQ: SMIE Volunteering

MountainTrue FAQ: SMIE Volunteering

Let's chat bugs! Last December on the MountainTrue blog, we considered What's Bugging Our Rivers. Today, we'll take a deeper dive into our participation in the Stream Monitoring Information Exchange (SMIE) program and our partnership with the Environmental Quality...

Plastic-Free WNC

Plastic-Free WNC

​​Plastic pollution: we've all seen it littered on the side of the road, blowing in the wind, floating down rivers and streams. Plastic pollution is a global problem, but we all have to be part of the solution. Watauga Riverkeeper Andy Hill on plastic pollution:...

Tell FERC to Protect Mountain Rivers

Tell FERC to Protect Mountain Rivers

On October 4, 2021, the Oconaluftee River below Ela Dam — once a high quality mountain river — was completely filled with sediment during a reservoir drawdown for a repair by the dam's owner, Northbrook Carolina Hydro II, LLC.  Tell FERC to protect rivers in the...

One Million Gallons of Sewage Overflowed into Western North Carolina Waterways during Six Month Period

One Million Gallons of Sewage Overflowed into Western North Carolina Waterways during Six Month Period

More than one million gallons of sewage overflowed from inadequate wastewater infrastructure into the French Broad River and other area waterways in Western North Carolina according to state data acquired and analyzed by MountainTrue. The data was collected from August 3, 2020 until March 4, 2021 by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) Asheville Regional office and is the best available estimate of the amount of sewage that overflows from wastewater infrastructures such as pipes and manhole covers into area rivers and streams across 19 counties of western North Carolina.

The Not-So-Micro Issue of Microplastics

The Not-So-Micro Issue of Microplastics

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.

DEQ: It’s Time to Modernize NC’s Pollution Spill Notification System

DEQ: It’s Time to Modernize NC’s Pollution Spill Notification System

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.

Protect Our Rivers By Supporting Sustainable Farms

Protect Our Rivers By Supporting Sustainable Farms

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.