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Eco-friendly Boating in North Carolina



The Neuse River, also called the ‘River of Peace’ and named after the Native American tribe who originally called the river home, is the longest river contained entirely in North Carolina and one of the oldest rivers in the country.


But did you know that the Neuse used to be one of the most endangered rivers in America? Although the river has thankfully managed to claw its way out of the endangered rivers list, pollution continues to be an ever-growing problem, and some effort is needed to maintain its current cleanliness and beauty.


Do your part to keep the Neuse alive and well by spreading awareness and practicing these top eco-friendly boating tips wherever you may go!


What’s Happening to the Neuse River?

The Neuse River was once one of the most endangered rivers in America. Because of harmful agricultural runoff, industrial development, algae blooms, and rapidly decreasing fish populations, experts have stated that the river was “in very poor health” and continues to decline.


Although many existing efforts and organizations have been made to improve the conditions in the Neuse, including the Clean Water Act, the river continues to face challenges in the form of industrial wastewater, runoffs from agricultural fertilizer and other developed areas, and algae blooms.


What Can We Do to Help?

To keep the Neuse safe and clean for everyone to enjoy, here are some eco-friendly boating tips so you can do your part in helping the environment and keeping our waterways clear and pristine, no matter where you’re sailing.

  • Spill-proof your engine, bilge, and oil filter: Prevent any harmful toxic waste from dripping into the water by spill-proofing your engine, bilge, and oil filter, especially when refueling and changing your oil. Use absorbent pads or clothes and spill-proof containers when possible.

  • Use non-toxic cleaning products and antifouling paint: When cleaning your boat, use non-toxic marine cleaners, and as much as possible, try to do your cleaning out of the water so nothing makes its way to the water. When using antifouling paint on your hull, make sure it’s non-toxic as well.

  • Minimize greywater: Greywater is created from wastewater from on-board sinks, showers, and washing machines. You can use biodegradable soap or simply take your baths and showers and do your laundry and dishes on shore if possible.

  • Dispose of sewage properly: This should go without saying. Dispose of your sewage through the proper pump-out and disposal facilities and never out on the water.

  • Keep your trash on board: Wait to dispose of your trash in the proper receptacles and never throw any of it overboard.

Organizations and Projects To Support

Beyond these small, actionable practices that could go a long way, you can also support organizations and initiatives and extend your impact even further!

  • Sound Rivers: Sound Rivers is a non-profit organization that works to save the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico River basins. Sound Rivers aims to improve conditions on the Neuse River and its sister, the Tar-Pamlico, by advocating against toxic dumps, deforestation, and industrial wastewater.

  • Upper Neuse Clean Water Initiative: The Upper Neuse Clean Water Initiative brings together various conservation organizations and trusts, including the North Carolina Land and Water Fund and The Conservation Fund, to preserve the Upper Neuse River Basin and keep the water quality around Raleigh and the surrounding counties and cities healthy and clean.

  • Lower Neuse River Initiative: The Coastal Land Trust’s Lower Neuse River Initiative concentrates its efforts along the North Carolina coastland, especially those connected to the Lower Neuse basin. Their goals include conserving farmlands and other landscapes along the Lower Neuse in order to preserve the water quality and natural beauty of the river and its islands and banks.


Every action matters, no matter how small it may seem, and we can all do our part to contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable future for the Neuse and all the other waterways in our country.


Northwest Creek Marina cares about the environment, so you can be sure that we put not just your health and safety to the forefront, but the health and safety of the river we call home as well!


The marina hosts a marina and waterfront cleanup each year in June with the boaters and local community! In the past two years, we have collected over 200 pounds of plastic pollution and debris from the river with the support of Sound Rivers and Crystal Coast Realty & Home Services.


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