Blueprint designed to protect lower Cape Fear River

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The North Carolina Coastal Federation and its partners introduced a blueprint Tuesday to protect the lower Cape Fear River moving forward.

“This river is critically important not just as a habitat, but it’s our drinking water source,” NC Coastal Federation Scientist and Regional Manager, Tracy Skrabal said. “And if we’ve learned nothing from GenX it’s that we have to renew our efforts to pay attention and be mindful about what is allowed to go into the river. And what sort of uses we can better manage so we can protect this river.”

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Four major goals of the blueprint is to restore water quality, revive living shorelines, oyster reef restoration, and get rid of invasive species.

“GenX really opened up eyes, not just to that particular compound, but the whole issue of under regulated industrial compound,” Skrabal said. “It’s really meant to provide a framework for community action. So things that towns can do, things that communities can do, things that governments can do. We all have a role in better protecting this most amazing river.”

Many who live in the area and work on the river say they support the blueprint, especially getting rid of contaminants.



“The Cape Fear River is without a doubt the most underutilized natural resource in the state of North Carolina,” Wilmington Water Tours Owner, Doug Springer said. “I think we have to eventually get to the point of zero discharge into the river. It’s ridiculous for a company such as Chemours to even have a permit to discharge anything into the river.”

Skrabal said the blueprint took about two years to plan out. Most of the funding comes from The Orton Foundation.

Skrabal adds several projects across the lower Cape Fear River are already underway.