HRA Annual Meeting - Nov. 2 -Saxapahaw

Sunday, Nov. 2    2:30 – 4:30 (river activities start at 1 p.m.)

Paperhand Puppet Studio,  Saxapahaw

Join us for a fall afternoon in beautiful Saxapahaw on the Haw River, for our 33rd Annual Membership Meeting!  We’ll elect our 2014 Board of Directors,  hear updates on HRA and important issues from the Haw Riverkeeper and learn about Saxapahaw’s history and future from Mac Jordan.   The meeting will begin at 2:30 at the Paperhand Puppet Studio  6079 Swepsonville-Saxapahaw Rd. Graham, NC 27340.  (The studio is located next to the Haw River bridge in Saxapahaw)  Before the meeting at 1 p.m. you can take part in a river monitoring demonstration or take a hike to the new Alamance Co. park on the river island.  Meet at 1:00 p.m. in front of the Paperhand studio to  join in these activities.   P1030580

There’s also a Brunch Paddle on Nov. 2 in      Saxapahaw with Haw River Canoe and Kayak  Company that starts at 10 a.m. for $45 – it will end before our meeting starts.  http://hawrivercanoe.com/paddle-brunch/

For more information, contact us at 919 542-5790 or info@hawriver.org

2014 Annual Meeting flyer

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NC People Speak Against Fracking Dangers

New legislation  signed by Governor McCrory lifts the moratorium on fracking and will allow permits for drilling to be issued starting in 2015, with no final vote by the legislature or review of the new fracking laws that are supposed to protect North Carolina from this risky and polluting industry.  The draft fracking rules are too weak to protect people, land and our waters — and put the costs on us instead of industry.

The legislature and Governor have broken their promise. Hundreds of people spoke against fracking at the public hearings in August and September. Over 100,000 people sent written comments to the  Mining and Energy Commission telling them why these rules will not protect us from fracking dangers.  Here are the comments that HRA sent the MEC, co-signed by the other Riverkeepers in NC. 

On October 14, members of Frack Free NC delivered petitions to Governor McCrory signed by over 59,000 North Carolinians asking the state to BAN FRACKING.

The people have spoken – is the state listening?

 Want to learn more about how fracking could impact North Carolina’s water and people?  For current information and updates, to sign the petition  and to join with the Haw River Assembly and thousands across NC on this issue, go to the Frack Free NC alliance website    http://frackfreenc.or


Who’s Been Hurt By Fracking and Gas Development in the US? 

 See the truth at  “List of the   Harmed” The oil and gas industry says that reports of well contamination and other impacts of drilling, fracking, wastewater, air contamination and health effects are exaggerated and undocumented. The Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Water and Air continues to compile the “List of the Harmed” from news reports and contacts across the US. Now including 1,700 reports, each with the names of actual people harmed, their location, the responsible oil and gas operator, and the specific impact, the List also provides web links for further information and media stories.


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2014 Haw River Learning Celebration a Great Success!

HRLC_Bynum_Cyn-20070927-036Over the years many people have given their hearts, hands and spirits to the continual creation of the Haw River Learning Celebration.  This year’s 25th Learning Celebration was a great success and  connected over 1000 4th grade students to this amazing river. Students learned about their “ecological address” and took part in activities along the river of exploration and discovery.explore and discover.

HRLC_Sax_Cyn_Mar-20071004-232The 25th Anniversary Haw River Learning Celebration Program took place this fall from September 20th, 2014 to October 1oth, 2014.  Getting kids outside into nature and inspiring them to be the next generation of conservationists is what it’s truly about! Our volunteer guides use nature as the classroom – and for many children this is their first experience ever, hiking through a forest and along a river. Volunteers give a day or a week of their time an guide students in small groups through activities that explore the woods and river,as well as some of its unique history, all through hands-on learning experiences that weave science and art into a fun day of learning.

Thank you to ALL our volunteers and to the generous cooks who fed us, and businesses who support us, and each year make this the


(and special thanks to the folks at REI  for the $5000 grant and camp supplies that helped us put on such a successful the Learning Celebration this year)

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Agreement Reached with Burlington on Steps to Prevent More Raw Sewage Spills

In response to legal pressure applied by the Haw River Assembly and Cape Fear River Watch, the City of Burlington agreed on September 2 to take specific steps to evaluate and improve its wastewater collection system.

In April, the two Riverkeeper groups, represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center, filed a notice of intent to sue to correct ongoing violations of the Clean Water Act. Under Tuesday’s agreement, the groups agreed to withdraw the threat of legal action. In return, the City committed to (1) clean 20% of its sewer lines over the next three years (doubling the requirement under their collection system permit) and provide annual reports of these maintenance efforts; (2) notify the conservation groups no later than 24 hours after a sewage spill exceeding 10,000 gallons (to ensure prompt public notice when such events occur); (3) evaluate both the education and enforcement aspects of its Fats, Oils, and Grease program and submit a report to the conservation groups; (4) complete, pursuant to a set schedule, priority infrastructure projects designed to limit the likelihood of sewage spills; and (5) make stipulated payments for each day that the City fails to perform obligations under the agreement.

Sewage spills from the Burlington wastewater collection system and its two wastewater treatment plants threaten water quality in the Haw River in and around Burlington and in downstream communities such as Pittsboro, North Carolina. Such spills occurred, on average, more than once a month since 2006, but the North Carolina Department of Environment (DENR) and Natural Resources failed to take responsive action. Indeed, following a 3.5 million gallon spill in January 2014, the state environmental agency encouraged Burlington to delay notification of the public for several days, in violation of a state law requiring public notice within 48 hours. When the State fails to prosecute, the Clean Water Act authorizes citizens to sue to prevent ongoing harm to the environment.

The Haw River Assembly and Cape Fear River Watch stepped in to fill the void caused by DENR’s inaction. Raw sewage spills can pose serious human health risks, degrade water quality, and harm wildlife habitat. The Haw River is part of the Cape Fear River Basin, and it feeds into Jordan Lake, which serves as the drinking water supply for 300,000 North Carolinians and is an important recreational resource for the state.

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Chatham Park Development

Lawsuit Filed Challenging Chatham Park Re-zoning


Pittsboro Matters, and local residents have filed a lawsuit challenging the Pittsboro Town Board’s June 9 re-zoning approval authorizing Chatham Park. The developers’ plans involve the largest mixed-use planned development ever proposed in North Carolina, covering 7,120 acres on the outskirts of Pittsboro,adding 55,000 new residents to a town with a current population of about 4,000. Pittsboro Matters is non-profit organization representing Pittsboro  area residents who want a greater citizen voice in the design and implementation of the proposed development.

Click here to read more and to donate  to the legal fund at Pittsboro Matters

The lawsuit, filed by attorney Robert Hornik Jr. of the Brough Law Firm in Chapel Hill, claims the Town Board violated the state constitution, state statutes regulating local land zoning approvals and the town’s own zoning requirements.

“We are not seeking to stop Chatham Park,” said Pittsboro Matters board member Amanda Robertson. “Instead we seek to greatly improve the process for implementation of this massive development and to enhance its quality in a manner that protects and respects the environmental resources, small town character, and quality of life of Pittsboro and its citizens. “

The Haw River Assembly has been a strong advocate for better environmental protections and water quality issues concerning Chatham Park and will continue to play a strong role as this moves forward.





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