“Pure Farm, Pure Water” campaign targets cleaner waterways in ENC

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Protecting our waterways is a way to protect our food supply, which is why Coastal Carolina River Watch is taking steps to effectively safeguard it through its “Pure Farm, Pure Water” campaign.

According to Riley Lewis, the White Oak waterkeeper, contaminated water can lead to many consequences.

“It makes it dangerous for humans to come in contact with, makes it dangerous for consuming, especially with shellfish that filter water, so all those contaminants are in the organism, but also just for the air quality and the quality of life for the animals,” Lewis said.

The campaign focused on mitigating the adverse pollution practices of industrial agriculture and factory farms in the New River area while supporting family farms.

Lewis says during the campaign animal waste mostly from hogs and poultry and concentrated animal-feeding operations, also known as factory farms, was better managed and helped lower the bacteria levels in Eastern Carolina waterways.

“Farming industries impact each other, so ultimately what centered around them is the water that connects them,” Lewis added.

According to John Smith, with NC State’s Pitt County Agriculture Extension, not only having reliable but also sufficient water for our farms is more important than ever.

“Right now we are in a drought area and the sandy soils affect that so moving forward we need to make sure our practices and water are safe.”

Smith says a private applicator license course in Pitt County also ensures growers keep the water safe by managing pesticide levels.