Yadkin Riverkeeper is working on several challenges facing the Yadkin Pee Dee River Basin. Here you'll find the most pressing issues. 

Yadkin Riverkeeper Joins Amicus Brief Before the U.S. Supreme Court

On December 8th, 2017, Yadkin Riverkeeper joined American Whitewater and the North Carolina Wildlife Federation in filing an amicus brief before the U.S. Supreme Court in State of North Carolina v. Alcoa Power Generating, Inc. et al. The brief encourages the Court to review ownership of the riverbed.

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Alcoa Subsidiary Challenges Wastewater Permit

Badin Park contends that the NC Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Water Resources , in issuing the Final Permit, exceeded its authority, acted erroneously, failed to use proper procedure, acted arbitrarily and capriciously, and failed to act as required by law or rule, and in so doing, deprived Badin Park of its property and otherwise substantially prejudiced its rights. Read the pre-hearing statement by Badin Business Park LLC.

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Contested Case Petition Against the Union County Interbasin Transfer Certificate

On the July 21, 2017, Yadkin Riverkeeper, represented by SELC, filed a contested case petition against the Union County Interbasin Transfer Certificate.  As written, this certificate would allow Union County and the town of Wingate in the eastern suburbs of Charlotte to remove 23.5 million gallons per day of raw water out of Lake Tillery on the Yadkin Pee Dee River. 

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2016 NC Riverkeepers Report

DEAD IN THE WATER 2016: The State of North Carolina’s Waters is the first comprehensive report that details the work of Riverkeepers across North Carolina. This state has a proud history of environmental protection. However, 2016 was a year of vast devastation and increased pollution, from storms, the burgeoning hog and chicken industries, coal ash and other chemicals and abuses. Contributing to the problem were environmental officials who turned a blind eye to the problems and were slow to respond to issues. Combine this with State government that attempted to roll back protections and you have a state where Riverkeepers had to work harder than ever to protect our waters.

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Take Action for Coal Ash Clean-up at Buck!

We need you to raise your voices to let DEQ know that the ash at Buck, Duke Energy's retired coal power plant on High Rock Lake, needs to be cleaned up, not covered up. WE NEED YOU TO ATTEND THE PUBLIC HEARING on March 22 and demand excavation of the ash to lined storage. Email us at if you're interested in getting a ride from Winston-Salem. WE NEED YOU TO EMAIL PUBLIC COMMENTS TO DEQ BY APRIL 18 to provide resolution to Dukeville residents depending on bottled water. Email Public Comments to: OPEN THIS ARTICLE FOR A SAMPLE LETTER that you can email or mail to NC DEQ to express your opinion.

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water of the Yadkin River

Pure Farms / Pure Water (CAFOS)

CAFOs - Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (the majority of which are poultry), an array of crops and timber are major industries in the upper Yadkin. Animal agriculture is one of the largest industries in the basin and the least regulated. The economics of fertilizer hauling means that most of the waste generated in the basin stays in the basin. The Riverkeeper works with agricultural actors across the basin to help promote best management practices; to protect the Yadkin and its tributaries from harmful contaminants as a result of the waste; and to help keep communities thriving in the wake of this emerging environmental threat.

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High Rock Rules

Since the 1970's High Rock Lake has suffered from decades of pollution issues and continues to suffer from the chronic effects of nutrient and sediment overloads. The Riverkeeper’s mission is to ensure that the public has the information it needs to participate in the stakeholder process as the state develops a nutrient strategy for High Rock Lake that will impact the basin from Wilkesboro to Salisbury.

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Yadkin Riverkeeper is a partner with the Frack Free NC alliance. “Frack-Free NC” is a network of grassroots organizations who believe that shale gas development using “fracking” and horizontal drilling cannot be done without bringing harm to our waters, land, air, communities and public health.

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Monroe Bypass

The Riverkeeper was a part of a coalition of groups working to ensure that the potential impacts of this proposed expansion of the highway system southeast of Charlotte are properly considered before the project begins construction. While the federal lawsuit of which we were a co-plaintiff was unsuccesful, Yadkin Riverkeeper did ensure that $1 million dollars will be devoted to conservation to protect streams in the project area. We are grateful to all the community members and conservation organizations that worked with them against this unnecessary project.

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Photo Credit: Rohan Ayinde Smith


The retired Alcoa aluminum smelter in Badin is one of the most contaminated industrial sites in the Yadkin watershed-with soil, water and fish tissue sampling showing elevated levels of contaminants like cyanide and PCBs. Yadkin Riverkeeper works with the local community to ensure that this legacy of contamination is remediated and that the residents who live, work and play in Badin are able to do so in a healthy, non toxic environment.

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Seeps by Buck

Coal Ash

When the Dan River spill occurred in February 2014, Yadkin Riverkeeper staff were some of the first responders on the site to alert the public to the extent of coal ash contamination. In October 2016, after a two year campaign, Yadkin Riverkeeper secured a clean up of the Buck Steam Station coal ash pits. Under this agreement, Duke Energy is obligated to excavate and recycle the over 5 million tons of coal ash sitting in unlined pits. Buck Steam Station is Duke’s oldest coal plant, opened in 1926 and stopped burning coal in 2013. It is the 8th of 14 sites in North Carolina to be placed under a clean up agreement. Going forward, Yadkin Riverkeeper will continue to work with the Dukeville community and monitor the situation at Buck to ensure that clean up is conducted in a timely manner that protects the river and community.

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paddlers on the Yadkin River

Riverkeeper Protection Program

Yadkin Riverkeeper works to protect all 7,200 square miles of the Yadkin Pee Dee River basin. We need your help! If there is a water issue in your community let us know. The Riverkeeper collaborates with citizens and groups across the basin to advocate for fishable, swimmable, drinkable water.

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