Tar-Pamlico’s kayaking team returns with highlights and concerns

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WASHINGTON, NC (WITN) – A duo of kayakers with the Sound Rivers organization traveled 70 miles of the Tar-Pamlico River this week to get a first-hand look at the waterway issues that were recently reported.

“This river that I’m charged with protecting… I feel like I should know it pretty well,” said Riverkeeper Jill Howell.

Howell discovered that the best way to learn more about water is from the water itself.

“When you’re paddling and you don’t have much else on your plate other than paddling and being there and looking around and seeing what everything looks like, that’s a really important thing and a great way. to see everything. “

What Howell found most alarming were tens of thousands of dead menhaden fish.

“You can really see how something like that confuses people who want to go out on the river,” Howell said. “Whether paddling, boating or fishing, no one wants to be surrounded by a pile of dead fish.”

According to Sound Rivers, mass fish kills, fish kills, are primarily caused by nutrient pollution, algal blooms, and salt holds about six feet below the water’s surface. They prevent the river from maintaining a constant mixture of fresh water through the depths of the water.

Public accessibility of waterways is also on the list of concerns to be addressed.

“We know a lot of people on the river, especially in the Pamlico part, look like me,” said environmental projects coordinator Clay Barber. “And it gets to the point that the only people who benefit from the water are the ones who can pay to be there, which leaves out a huge group of people who have every right to use the water.”

He says the waterway is a great resource, but it has its own unique challenges that must be addressed.

Barber plans to respond to what he saw in hopes of improving the state’s recreational opportunities along bodies of water, like the Pungo River area.

“To follow up on that, I’m really curious. I want to find one of those plans that are out there and find out from the state, ”Barber said.

For now, the team will tackle these larger issues by starting locally. They will use the riparian owners as students to better educate them on conservative management practices.

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