The importance of the river

Published 9:18 pm Tuesday, April 1, 2014



The influx of spring has beckoned individuals to focus their attention on the river — and rightfully so — warmer weather means boating. However, if you take a closer look, you will realize how important the river, and other waterways, is to our population.

The North Carolina Estuarium has started up their season of offering river-roving tours; local fisherman and seafood harvesters continue their work of bringing local seafood to the area; and a seminar, addressing flood insurance concerns — also river related.

It is evident that the river continues to play a vital role in the lives of the people in this area — good or bad. We live and file claims by the river.

It is imperative that we take care of the river and surrounding waterways. This Saturday, you can do just that by participating in the Riverkeeper Cup Cleanup Challenge. It may be a competition, but each volunteer at each community is working toward a common goal—to help protect the river and its wildlife. For six years running, volunteers have come together along the banks of the Tar-Pamlico River to pick the river clean of litter. Last year, alone, more than 200 people participated, picking up 7,320 pounds of trash form the river during the event, hosted by the grassroots environmental organization Pamlico-Tar River Foundation. The public is invited to join in the project and also welcome to bring their kayak or canoe to assist in the cleanup. The PTRF and the City of Washington will supply bags, gloves and trash pickers.

The participation of the public is necessary for all of us to continue to enjoy local seafood as well as river roving excursions — not to mention, boating, in general. As for the flooding — let’s just hope that, by taking care of the river, it will be merciful—or at least if you do experience flooding, there won’t be a big pile of trash flooding your property.