America “The Beautiful”

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

SUBJECT: AMERICA “THE BEAUTIFUL”

1. LET’s MAKE IT THAT WAY, PLEASE WRITE THIS LETTER. WHY? BECAUSE,

2. NORTH CAROLINA IS MEAN ON CLEAN

3. LITTERING IS ILLEGAL

4. DO NOT RISK BEING FINED $ 1,000. DOLLARS

6. LITTER NO MORE IN 2004

7. WE DO NOT LITTER, WE HATE LITTER

8. To help curtail all littering everywhere, we, and all our employees signed below, so state that we will not litter so that when Big Sweep Day arrives on October 2nd this year we can attend all the wonderful other festivities going on that day across our State, and not have to be picking up trash.

9. To accomplish this, we will make everyday between now and then “BIG SWEEP DAYS” and pick up all litter we can so there will not be any litter to pick up on October 2nd and,

10. WE CAN ATTEND OUR FAVORITE FESTIVAL WITH YOU AND MAKE IT THE BEST BIG SWEEP DAY EVER WITH ZERO TRASH.

Please write the above letter right now, Change it any way to suit you. All you really need to say is, “We do not litter” or “We will not litter” and have it signed by all members of your firm and all employees and send it to:

In Onslow County: Keep Onslow Beautiful

Mary “Lisa” Stotesbury, Administrator

604 College Street

Jacksonville, NC 28584

In Carteret County: Izaak Walton League of America

310 Yaupon Drive

Cape Carteret, NC 28584

In Jones County: Larry Meadows, County Manager

Jones County

P. O. Box 266

Trenton, NC 28585

These letters should reach every man, woman and child if all businesses will do this simple thing.

This is our very best opportunity to curtail littering. Post a copy in a window or an office. Encourage others to do the same. We must reach your church, clubs etc. to make it successful.

Stewards of The White Oak River Basin have recently cleaned Pettiford Creek, Hadnot Creek, Queens Creek, the spoils island across from The Wildlife Ramp in Cedar Point on Rte 24.and the shore line between Hammocks Beach State Park and Swansboro..

These areas will not have to be revisited for Big Sweep. We paddle for fun and pick up all trash as we go. If you would like to join us let us know. We do have fun. One newcomer said he never had so much fun doing good! We usually have an extra canoe or kayak you can use.

If you want to sign up to have your State Road included in the Adopt-a Highway program, we can help you with that.

“We The people” are doing the littering. Only “We The People” can stop it. We are the source of litter, this will stop it at the source. Those that don’t stop face the prospect of a fine.

Let’s truly make “America, The Beautiful, from sea to shining sea”, America we can all take pride in! Elmer

Elmer Eddy, The White Oak River Trash Man

Stewards of The White Oak River Basin

101 River Reach Drive West, Swansboro, NC 28584

Please visit our web site at www.whiteoakstewards.org Cell phone 910-389-4588

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The New River and Big Sweep October 2, 2004

This Friday, July 2, 2004, we will meet at 8:30 at the Food Lion parking lot just past the entrance to The Marine Air Base on Route 17 south.

We will launch our canoes and kayaks at the MCAS ramp on the New River. We will paddle across to The Point and pickup all litter along the shore going south as far as time permits. Brian Wheat of The New River Foundation will be leading this trip. We should be off the river by three.

Brian will have his motor boat to support us. We need this badly in these wide open waters. We need more motor boats. Join us on the water. The more we have the more miles we can move down the shore line. We need more canoes and kayaks too. We play leap frog and move fast down the shore. We have fun doing it. We make it a game. Come play with us!

Our goal is to have The New River clean by Big Sweep Day on October 2nd. There are a lot of other things going on that day and some of us would like to participate in those activities instead of having to pick up trash.

Big Sweep usually is for three hours in the morning. Maybe if there is more trash to get we can do it then and have the New River clean by noon on Big Sweep Day. Let’s just do it!

Please, all boaters, the principle source of trash and litter on this section of The New River is from boats. Please secure all trash on your boat. Elmer

Road Clean up on Route 58, June 29, 2004

For sixteen years the Izaak Walton League has been cleaning up trash four times every year for a two mile section along Highway 58.

We meet at the T & W restaurant and pick up north and south from there. Our Adopt-A-Highway signs are posted for this section.

Yesterday when we met to do the usual, there were the prisoners already at work doing what we usually do. This points out the lack of cooperation between organizations, both official and voluntary, in performing this task.

We went down to Firetower Road and cleaned it up instead. Here were bottles of all kinds. Some had been smashed by the mower. Beer cans and soda cans were numerous. Most of them had been hit by the mower and cut into jagged pieces of three, four and five for each can!

Then there was the Styrofoam and plastic from take-out purchasers.

These too were cut-up by the mower into beaucoup pieces.

We (all volunteers on roads) need to be notified before mowing!

What we really need is for all to simply stop littering. Why can’t we do this simple thing?

Would some psychiatrist please tell us why people continue to litter. Elmer

Cowhorn Creek-New River, June 26, 2004

Cowhorn Creek, June 26, 2004

I have often said, every paddle is different. Today proved it. I did not plan this paddle. Brian Wheat of New River Foundation did.

So, I was late getting there. Everyone had left. I have never been late before. I did have to go to Mike Banks in Belgrade to get a come-a-along, but that is a poor excuse. I knew I had to do that and should have allowed for the time necessary.

While I was launching my canoe a man came paddling up stream in a kayak to take out. It was It was John Althouse of the Daily News. We floated and talked and he took pictures. We had a long talk about littering and trashing of our lands and waters and how to stop it.

When I paddled on down Cowhorn Creek it was more beautiful than ever. The lush new green growth was every where. There was absolutely no trash starting out for me. I did pick up one beer can. The others before me did a good job.

I came to a beaver dam. It had been opened up. That is, there was a torrent of water flowing though it so I just cruised down over it in a rapid which was delightful.

Soon, I came upon another rapid through another beaver dam. Who says we do not have rapids in eastern Carolina? The beavers make them for us..We just have to open a gap in them and voila, we have a rapid!

This is when I realized I had left Mike’s come-along in my truck. So, I turned around and paddled back up to get it. Well, if you are paddling up stream, a beaver dam in place is far better than a beaver dam with a torrent of water rushing through an opening.

I tried every conceivable maneuver to paddle up and over the dam. I almost made in several attempts. Then I got out of my canoe. And pulled it up over the dam . And, lo and behold, I got in and went back down through the rapids backwards.

So, the next time I grounded the canoe on land after pulling it over again. Then I got in it and successfully left that beaver dam behind me.

Fortunately the next beaver dam was not as difficult to paddle through up stream and I made it on the second attempt.

When I got back to the launch area at Steed’s Park there was a young couple launching their canoe with a lovely blond, girl child in the middle. They were in a precarious position The front end of the canoe was in the water with Mamma and the rear was high up on land.

You know about tippee canoes. Under these circumstances you may as well try to balance on a tight rope. I suggested that they try to launch it side ways and close to the shore. They made an adjustment almost to this point and he got in and they were off. .

Went up and got Mike’s come-along and I paddled on after them hoping they were all right. I shot down over the beaver dams and came upon an even bigger, and higher beaver dam Brian and his crew had opened up. This was a real smooth fast rapid.

They had dropped the water level above it so as to expose muddy banks. Heretofore the plush green water weeds came down the the edge.

A mother wood duck jumped up in front of me. She must have had young nearby as she did not fly. She fluttered along the water in front of me thus distracting me from her babies which I never saw anyway. She did this around several bends and then she took off and flew back up stream to her babies.

Soon I over took the young couple with the lovely blond girl child. They were dong fine and seemed to be really enjoying their cruise. Their daughter was happy too, and I could hear her long before I over took them.

We exchanged amenities and I went on my way until I came to my favorite cypress on Cowhorn. I could not pass it up and I locked my canoe in place under it and took a picture looking straight up. Hope it comes out good

The young couple came by while I was taking the cypress picture and I tried to get a picture of them too,. But , I had already shut my camera down so that opportunity flowed by.

Not long after that I caught up with the group. They had already had their lunch. They were scattered over the river downstream. They used chain saws and come-alongs and choppers and hand saws. They played leap frog over each obstacle blocking the river.

Somewhere along the paddle I did get a picture of the young couple in the canoe with the pretty little girl . She would not cooperate in taking the picture but later she hollered at me affectionaly as they went by. I had given them my card and I will send them the picture.

We went by the gruesome, astounding, unbelievable, monstrous limestone formations. One was dragon like which looked as if it was reaching out to grab us. Soon we were in the New River. The New River water was clear. The Cowhorn water was muddy perhaps from all the work they did.

This is when Brian Wheat announced that we had a free ride home from here. I loved this as I have told paddlers the same thing. They tease me to this day that it is never around the next bend as I predicted.

Yes, we hit strainers on the New River, big ones, tight ones . Brian’s gang were in the water up to their arm pits breaking up those strainers and throwing them up on the banks.

Brian, finally told them to quit. He would get them later Our time was running out.

These folks on this cruise picked up things we had to pass up on our paddles for fun trips. This section of this paddle trail is cleared They literally went over board to do it. Our hats are off to The New River Foundation . You are The Very Best!

This trip also picked up “Paddles”. This has never happened before. A lovely docile kitten. Found on the banks away from nowhere. At the take out he was missing again! A diligent search finally found him under the seat. This is bound to be the most unusual find on a trash and river clean up trip ever made. Big Sweep, take note.

One of our quick heavy rain showers came up and all joked about getting wet as they stood in water up to their arm pits breaking up a strainer on the New River.

This is one of the hardest working groups I ever have had the pleasure of being with on the river. They are New River Foundation folks and they are really dedicated to keeping the river trash free and open to paddling for pleasure by the general public.

We owe them our thanks and support. The worst single source of a volume of trash was at North west Bridge. Some are dumping everything off this bridge. A T V. was the big item. . Why not take it to the land fill? Who are you who would do this? You could be fined heavily!

We are a society created for the common good of all. Throwing trash out of our autos and into our rivers has no place in a democratic nation. Please stop it for your own good and avoid being fined.

North Carolina is getting Mean on Clean! Elmer

The tall cypress, looking up

the young couple with the pretty blond daughter src=”http://www.whiteoakstewards.org/images/DCP01139.JPG” />

part of the group at the takeout with the tools, and trash

src=”http://www.whiteoakstewards.org/images/DCP01140.JPG” />

Spooners Creek, June 25, 2004

I was invited by Earl Gross and Marie Justen to paddle Spooners Creek. Gary Scruggs and Marie met me at the ramp. Earl was to paddle over from his house which they purchased recently.

We were waiting for Earl to arrive when we saw him come out of the finger or branch on which he lived. The strong wind immediately hit him and spun him around. He was sitting single at the end of a two man canoe. With the front end up in the air he din’t have a chance in that wind.

Gary juuped in his kayak and went to the rescue. They went up to a dock and Gary got in with Earl and they towed Gary’s kayak to us.

I got in the canoe with Earl and we were off on our tour. Million dollar homes were all around us with million dollar boats out front. One just built is owned by Curtis Strange.

We paddled to Earl,s place. He is near the end of a secluded creek with a dense forest across from him. He also has an island in front with a bridge to it. Lots of wild life to watch. A lovely home in a beautiful setting.

We cruised around more fingers or bays off the main channel up to the marina with all the big boats docked.

If you have never turned in and explored Spooners Creek I highly recommend that you do so.

When we got back to Marie’s house, surprise, suprise, surprise! Earl ad Marie called it Elmer’s Day.

There were Jim and Dean Stevens, Elaine, Earl’s wife, Joanne Somerday, John, Jack and Florence Eddy.

Thank you Earl and Marie. The food was excellent and the party was great. Elmer

Hammocks Beach to Swansboro, June 23, 2004

We dropped Marie’s car off at Swansboro Bicentennial Park and put our boats in the water at Hammaocks Beach State Park at 9:00.

There was a very strong soutwest wind blowing and this was at our backs all the way to Swansboro. Exception, as we paddled close to shore all the way we turned into three bays and Foster Creek. We had this wind in our face for short periods of time coming out of these bays.

We call this trip The large, beautiful, water front homes trip. Because of these homes along the way there was very little trash. We picked up one bag full on the whole trip. Lisa: Please mark off this shore line for Big Sweep. It does not need to be visited.

The participants were Marie Justen from Spooners Creek, Joanne Somerday from Kinston, Jim Stevens from New Bern and Elmer Eddy from Swansboro.

That is Marie on the left and Joanne on the right. Joanne’s T shirt says “Elmer’s Trashy Girls”. See below for the back.

The chair I am sitting on Came out of Northeast Creek in Jacksonville. So did the two balls I am holding. So did the TV I am watching.

People, please! Do not discard your unwanted items in our rivers. These rivers are our playgrounds. Would you like this trash on your baseball fields your soccer fields, your tennis courts?

Elmer’s Trashy Girls entered a race at Neuse River Day in New Bern and sponsored me! They came in fourth.(I really think they won as they were the only girls in the race!). I am proud of you girls, and thank you, (Joanne Somerday was in Montreal), Carole MeCracken,Bambie Edwards and Missy Tenhet.

Morning Glorys lined the shores and the mimosa was almost to our Methodist Church on 24. It hit me in the face! I never knew how pretty and delicate they were close up like this.

We lunched at 12:30 in Bicentennial Park at a picnic table on the water front. Very nice facilities. Thank you Swansboro. We went home after lunch as the wind was not inviting. It was a very enjoyable trip. Elmer

Hadnot Creek, June 17, 2004

What a wonderful Trip! No trash! Big Sweep, please cross this creek off your list for this year. It has no trash to pick up.

What we picked up was minimal thanks to the year round efforts of White Oak Bluffs’ Homeowners.

The one large piece of trash wins all in the category of most unusual. Gary Scruggs found it. It provided a lunch stop seat for four of us. It is a brand new, unused, parking lot bumper, black, heavy, plastic, about eight by ten inches thick and six feet long. It must have been thrown off the Church Road bridge. Why?

That is Gary on the left with his find and Jim Stevens, Marie Justen, and Tom Fineco helping him hold it up. (It weighed all of 3lbs).

So, instead of pictures of trash, we have pictures of beautiful wild flowers to show you. Hope you can name them for us. It is a delightful change for us! Elmer

3rd day of paddling with Paul Ferguson, Monday, June 14, 2004

On Monday, June 14, 2004 we paddled and hiked. We put in at Hammocks Beach State Park and paddled over to te ferry dock on the island by followig Cow Channel, the ferry route. We put in at 9:00 and were over there by 10:30.

We hiked over to the new facilities,about a 1/2 mile on the ocean front. It is an ineresting hike with the natural fauna and flora being explained as you walk along the path. It is up hill all the way. (Paddling is a lot easier!).

The facilities are excellent and the view in all directions is overwhelming.

Looking west over the high dunes and the ocean.

Looking down over the beach and the ocean. They are Paul Ferguson an Jim Stevens.

We retraced our steps to the ferry dock and had lunch in the shelter there.

It was good to get back into our boats and paddle along the inland shore to the point at Bogue Inlet. Some of the dunes were 60 feet high.

On prevoius exploratory trips we have climbed up into this area. There are aand bowls up there with high dunes all around protecting you from the wind. It is a different micro world you hike into. It seems like you could be in the Sahara.

We rouonded the point and paddled into the stream that connects a large lake or bay at high tide. Unfortunately we hit it at low tide and we had to walk. Camp sites 13 an 14 ar right there. #22 is a litle further and the rest are down near the beach. In trying to hike to them we ran into a roped off area for the protection of shore birds.

This was about the ohly pieice of litter we had to pick up.

This is Paul and Jim with Emerald Isle in the background.

Pulling our boats out and tying them up before trying to hike over to the camp sites on the ocean front.

The paddle home was very pleasant following the markers on the trail from this point to the mainland. Marker was missing where a right angle turn is necessary. We notified the authorities.

We enjoyed the paddle and the hiking. It is a different world from the inland streams in the woods. Paul and I hit 5.7 miles perhour for 10 seconds on the way back with the tide and a south wind at our back. Elmer

Day #2 of paddling with Paul Ferguson

We put-in in Peletier at the foot of a dirt road off Pettiford Road on Pettiford Creek. We paddled upstream under 58 and past Star Hill golf course and subdivision. This is through marshes and past mosquito channels cut by WPA years ago.

The river narrows and red cedars appear in gross forms and shapes. One we call the Dragon. Croatan National Forest is on our left and the newly acquired public land, by the Coastal Land Trust,926 acres is on our right

We arrived at the beaver dams at high water so we cruised over all the small ones. We pulled our boats over the larger ones.

We immediately came into a beautiful garden of pure white water lillies.

We also came upon some button flower bushes.

This next is Missy clibing ovr a beaver dam.

This is Missy chuting down over a beaver dam.

This is Missy’s son, Stephen, doing the same.

We ate lunch at the large beaverlodge. It is between 40 and 50 feet in diameter and five feet high. After lunch we pushed further upstream and came uopon another equally large beaver lodge.

Shortly after that we had to give up and turn back downstream according to Gary. Gary opened up the beaver dams on the reurn trip for us so we could shoot down over them by paddling fast and getting a whte water thrill.

We saw many more wild flowers and large ferns and palmettos. The broken thruogh dam is always an interesting place with the island in the middle. There is supposed to be another old dam upstream but we never have found it.

When we get very high water again we are gong to put in at Millis Road and come down.(In the day time this time!). Elmer

We had a most enjoyable trip. Tis is one of our favorite rivers.We got back to the ramp at three as planned.

Participants were: Paul Ferguson,from Raleigh, Missy Tenet and her son, Stephen, from Oriental, Gary Scruggs from Newport and Elmer Eddy form Swansboro.

Day #1 of paddling with Paul Ferguson

Paul drove down from Raleigh on Saturday, June 12th and we met him at 10:00 in Peletier on Pettiford Creek which is the creek we intended to paddle that day.

The wind was strong from the northeast and Gary Scruggs and Paul and I quickly agreed we should take advantage of it paddle the White Oak instead.

We set up shuttle at Cedar Point at the ramp in Croatan National Forest and drove to Stella where we put-in at Boondocks at 11:00.

The wind blew us down the river. Paul measured 3.5 miles per hour. We lunched at the Eagles Nest Beach about half way,just below Little Kinston.

Very shallow water under a high bluff being eroded by the winds and high tides. Large trees, which had been uprooted by erosion at the top of the bluff, lie across the sandy beach. It was a lovely interesting lunch stop in Croatan National Forest and would make a great camping stop on the river.

This picture is of Paul and Gary at the bottom of the bluff. I am down on my knees taking the picture to get the top of the bluff in the picture.

This picture shows the sandy beach and a large tree which came down across it from the top of the bluff.

After lunch we paddled on down past the Amphitheatre and Pettiford Bay by Jones Island and Dubling Creek into the ramp on Boathouse Creek at Cedar Point. We arrived there at 3:00.

It was a most enjoyable paddle. I was amazed at how quickly we traversed the 10 miles of river.