CAPE FEAR RIVER WATCH

The mission of Cape Fear River Watch is to protect and improve the water quality of the Cape Fear River Basin for all people through education, advocacy and action.   Their key project objectives are: 

  • §  To engage New Hanover County’s communities of color and low-income communities in Cape Fear River Watch’s successful Creekwatchers program. Creekwatchers is a hands-on citizen science initiative allowing community members to ‘adopt’ a creek.

  • §  To create a Civic Engagement Training Program to educate the community and decision-makers about environmental justice

Using the support from the WIN grant, CFRR will create and implement an Environmental Justice Civic Engagement Program to provide an arena for community members to express their concerns; to identify challenges related to environmental justice; and to educate and train community leaders and students to better take on these challenges. The overarching goal is to build momentum for a lasting impact on the community. 

CFRR will work with their  partners at NAACP, including  listening sessions with New Hanover County’s communities of color and low-income communities. Together, they will create a Civic Engagement Training Program to educate the community about environmental justice, which in turn should increase civic engagement in environmental issues. Grassroots community leaders will be invited to share their guidance and experiences with community members and students.

Another aspect of the program is deepening the involvement of New Hanover County’s communities of color and low-income communities in Cape Fear River Watch’s successful Creekwatchers program . Creekwatchers, a hands-on citizen science initiative, allows community members to ‘adopt’ a creek. Through a partnership with the City of Wilmington, and with support from a foundational grant, we have enhanced this program and increased our capacity to test for additional pollutants in our waterways and to increase our reach. The support from WIN enables the program to extend into  urban area creeks in communities of color and low-income communities in New Hanover County.

By connecting community members, grassroots leaders and New Hanover County decision-makers, issues around access to the environment and the  particular impact of environmental issues on communities of color and low-income communities can be addressed. 

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