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

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 is 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. Improvements to the existing road system could alleviate traffic concerns without the same concerns of stream pollution.

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Photo Credit: Rohan Ayinde Smith


Yadkin Riverkeeper has worked for years to ensure that the waters of the Yadkin River are managed by good stewards in the best interest of the public. We continue to work to ensure that the legacy of contamination in Badin Lake generated by the Badin aluminum smelter owned and operated by Alcoa Inc. is remediated and 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. Since then, Yadkin Riverkeeper continues to work on preventing a similar disaster in our own basin and fights to ensure that the estimated 5 million tons of coal ash sitting in unlined pits at the Buck Steam Station along the banks of the Yadkin River is removed to safe storage away from the river. Buck Steam Station is Duke’s oldest coal plant, opened in 1926 and stopped burning coal in 2013.

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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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