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Event to Focus on Cape Fear River Plan

Town Creek, Cape Fear River. File photo

WILMINGTON — The North Carolina Coastal Federation is leading a collaborative planning effort to protect, manage and restore the important estuarine and riverine natural resources of the lower Cape Fear River.

Called the Lower Cape Fear River Blueprint, the federation and its partners are hosting a free open house highlighting the conservation effort 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 22, in the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Center for Marine Science, 5600 Marvin K. Moss Lane.

The open house will give the public an opportunity to hear about the ongoing research and programs of UNCW, Division of Marine Fisheries, Cape Fear River Watch and Audubon North Carolina on the river.

In addition to educational displays from researchers and blueprint partners, there will also be optional short presentations in the auditorium from the following guest speakers:

  • 5 p.m.: Tracy Skrabal, coastal scientist and regional manager, will provide an introduction to the Cape Fear River Blueprint.
  • 5:30 p.m.: Faculty researchers from UNCW’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry will provide new updates on current research into the presence of GenX compounds in the sediments of the Cape Fear River, the biodegradation and bioaccumulation of these compounds within oysters and the ongoing analysis of water samples from the Cape Fear River for the presence and quantities of GenX compounds.

With support from the Orton Foundation, an affiliate of the Moore Charitable Foundation, the blueprint will empower communities and partners to work together to improve the river and surrounding watershed’s overall health and water quality, according to a release from the federation. The plan expands on existing efforts by the Cape Fear River Partnership and Cape Fear Arch by creating a holistic platform of support and advocacy for the river and its resources.

The open house is to be preceded from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 22 by a meeting of the Cape Fear River Partnership at UNCW’s CMS. For more information about the partnership meeting, email Dawn York at or call 910-612-1152.

On May 23, the Cape Fear River Assembly is set to hold its 45th annual educational conference with a theme of “Working Together to Protect the Cape Fear River.”

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The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.