5K to raise legal battle funds

Published 6:54 pm Wednesday, October 2, 2013

BLOUNTS CREEK — The legal battle to protect Blounts Creek is literally taking to the streets on Sunday, Oct. 20, for the Save Blounts Creek 5K Walk/Run.

The goal is to raise money to assist the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation with the legal cost of challenging a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit issued to Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. North Carolina’s Division of Water Quality gave the thumbs up on the permit that would allow the mining company to discharge up to 12 million gallons of water per day into the headwaters of Blounts Creek, potentially changing the pH of the brackish creek. Last month, PTRF, along with the North Carolina Coastal Federation and the Southern Environmental Law Center, filed a petition challenging the permit with the Office of Administrative Hearings in Raleigh.

Now, advocates for the Blounts Creek cause are asking runners and walkers to help support the legal challenge, according to Les Sheridan, a Blounts Creek homeowner and the race’s organizer.

“This is intended to raise more public awareness of what’s going on and bring out folks who would like to help us with the cause,” Sheridan said. “We don’t want to set the mine down, we want to have them treat the water — that’s the big thing.”

Sheridan said all walkers and runners are invited, as are sponsors. So far, Miss Bea Charters, Cotton Patch Landing and Marina, Les and Elaine Sheridan, Omni Printing, Inner Banks Outfitters, Hibbetts Sports and Food Lion of Chocowinity have all signed on with various sponsorship, according to Sheridan.

The race will be held at 9 a.m. on Oct. 20, at Cotton Patch Landing and Marina on Blounts Creek. According to Sheridan, the course primarily runs within sight of the creek. Racers/walkers are to sign up for different age categories: 13 and under; 14 to 19; 20 to 29; 30 to 39; 40 to 49; 50 to 59; and 60-plus. Participants can pay $20 and sign up beforehand by logging on to www.PTRF.org and following the prompts to the 5K race, or pay $25 on the day of the race to register from 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. According to Sheridan, the first 50 entrants will receive Save Blounts Creek 5K t-shirts.

Cotton Patch Landing and Marina is located at 2018 Cotton Patch Road on Blounts Creek, Chocowinity.

“People should follow the ‘PTRF 5K’ signs,” Sheridan said.

For more information, contact Sheridan at 252-946-0050.