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


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

Step 1: Fix Leaky Sewers & Septic Systems

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.

Step 2: Reduce Farm & Nutrient Runoff

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.

Step 3: Keep Plastic Out Of Our Rivers

​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

Tell Beech Mountain Town Council: Fix Your Pipes. Save Our River.

Tell Beech Mountain Town Council: Fix Your Pipes. Save Our River.

The Watauga Water Intake Project would reclassify the Watauga River, opening it up to any number of water withdrawals and increased development. As of October 2018, Beech Mountain is still losing 150,000 gallons of water from leaky pipes per day – or 47% of Beech Mountain’s annual water use. Yet Beech Mountain has recently increased funds for the Watauga Water Intake Project to $2.15 million in this budget cycle. Take action here to tell Beech Mountain Town Council: The Town shouldn’t take on an expensive water intake when almost half of the water supply is currently leaking.

Update NC’s Spill Notification System to Keep People and Waterways Safe

Update NC’s Spill Notification System to Keep People and Waterways Safe

The public has the right to know about major pollution spills that impact our waterways as soon as possible, and through the technology the public uses today. Sign the petition below to tell the NC Department of Environmental Quality: Update your spill notification system for modern times to keep North Carolina’s people and waterways safe.