CAFO Campaign

Haw River Assembly has joined other Waterkeeper Alliance and Waterkeepers in North Carolina to address water pollution concerns caused by CAFOs, or Contained Animal Feeding Operations.

If you eat meat, you can still make an impact in the fight against industrial agricultural pollution.
Click here for a list of sustainable meat producers in the Haw Watershed.

What is a CAFO?

Contained Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) are agricultural operations where animals are kept and raised in confined situations. In these facilities, animals have been, are, or will be stabled or confined and fed or maintained for a total of 45 days or more in any 12-month period.

Manure and wastewater from CAFOs have the potential to contribute pollutants such as nitrogen and phosphorus, organic matter, sediments, pathogens, hormones, and antibiotics to the environment.

Pure Farms, Pure Waters Campaign

Waterkeeper Alliance mobilizes a network of advocates stretching from the mountains to the coast in North Carolina to address the environmental and public health impacts of industrial animal agriculture. The integration of watershed-specific strategies, informed by local expertise and designed around shared aims, is the key to our success.

Waterkeeper Alliance Campaign

What does this mean for the Haw?

There are over 100 poultry operations, and 6 swine operations in the basin. Many of these poultry operations sit directly adjacent to streams. Chicken litter piles are often left uncovered, exposed to wind and rain that carry bacteria and high levels of nutrients into those streams.

We are partnering with certified labs throughout the state to document nutrient and bacteria violations in surface waters. We are also working with other Riverkeepers in the state to advocate for more protective water quality standards and regulations for waste management at these industrial meat production facilities. Currently, our state allows big corporations to receive all of the profits and ownership of the facilities, leaving the small facility operator with all of the debt and liability for waste management and water contamination. We advocate to push that liability back to the corporations.

We are fortunate to have so many sustainable meat growers in our basin who are providing an alternative to the industrial meat food system. If you eat meat, support clean water by supporting your local and sustainable farmer.

Click here for a list of sustainable meat producers in the Haw Watershed.