Shackleford Banks, our National Seashore trashed

The original was sent to James L. Lewis, Chairman, Carteret County Young Democrats who initiated this clean up and we thank him and his group for this fine effort.

—– Original Message —–
From: Elmer B. Eddy
To: James L Lewis
Sent: Monday, July 25, 2005 7:38 PM
Subject: Shackleford Banks, our National Seashore Park trashed
James L. Lewis:

Your original notice in the Carteret County News-Times invited Republicans to join you in your effort to clean up Taylor’s Creek, Carrot Island, The Rachel Carson Sanctuary and Shackleford Banks.

This Republican jumped at the opportunity to get Shackleford Banks cleaned up. I whole heartedly agree with you that this trash and litter problem requires all of us to work together to beat it. I will do anything to get littering stopped!

We cleaned up Sugarloaf Island with the help of the Marines from Cherry Point. We cleaned up the White Oak River in 2003. For five years we have been cleaning up every stream and body of water we paddle.

We would have cleaned up Shackleford by now if we could get there and back with our trash. We cannot paddle to Shackleford and pick up trash and get it back to the mainland in our canoes and kayaks. We will work with anyone who will help us do this to get Shackleford clean. An invasion flotilla of motor boats could do this in a morning.

This is our very own National Seashore Park and it is in a state of disgrace being littered with trash by those who have used it and abused it. You state you hope our joint efforts will encourage people to put the trash where it belongs. In the case of Shackleford, Carrot Island , and Bird Shoals-The Rachael Carson Sanctuary, it belongs back in the boat it came in! “Leave nothing but your foot prints”.

Every boat owner should adhere to this Coast Guard request shown on the second page of this e-mail.(Sorry, I could not get the scanned copy in here. It is a bumper sticker, “about keeping our waters pollution free, WE CARE, PLEASE DO NOT LITTER OVERBOARD, In partner ship with the U. S. Coastguard”.

Every person should pledge to his or her self: “I will not litter”. If no one litters there will be no litter. I have taken a sabbatical leave of absence from every environmental organization I belonged to as, except for the very good specialty goal of each, they ignore or put trash on the back burner.

This doesn’t cut the mustard. They need to include trash in their agenda as nothing they all do can be successful if it is covered with trash. It will still look very dirty and disgusting to the public eye.

Our leaders, in all walks of life, need to us face this problem. Until they get the public motivated to stop littering we will have to live with trash. Our anti-litter laws make littering illegal but they are not enforced and so the public ignores them. This bad practice teaches our children that it is ok to break our laws. It teaches them disrespect for our laws.

Jim, you invited us to help you with the clean up of Atlantic Beach. Just like we cannot reach Shackleford and have any time left to pick up trash, we cannot get our boats to Atlantic Beach.

We will work with you anywhere our canoes and kayaks will go.

Gary Scruggs, is The Newport River Trashman, and a Steward of The White Oak River Basin. He is one of the original Stewards. Our public response was one family of three. Yours was 9 out of thirty expected. The general public did not respond!

All together you say we picked up 50 bags of trash. Yes, this is very good, but there are 1,000 more bags scattered all over Shackleford wherever the trash was discarded.

The public today are very busy dealing with the economic necessities of life plus every thing else they want to do.

Trash and litter is not on their mind except when they are threatened with a land fill nearby!
Maybe we need to make a big pile of our trash collections on the waterfront in Beaufort or on Atlantic Beach. That will get their attention.

Hopefully we can find a way to get the public to stop littering sometime soon. What we have been doing and are doing is a failure. We are ignoring the problem and that is why trash is a dirty, nasty, continuing problem.

In the meantime, can we get the prisoners to clean up Shackleford? They are cleaning up our roads. We know we can get the Marines to do it with the cooperation of all involved. We know they can and will do it if given the proper opportunity and notice. Sugarloaf Island attests to that.

I am sending a copy of this e-mail to Lockwod Phillips of the Carteret County News-Times. I am asking him to consider this a letter to the Editor or however else he may wish to use it to help us to motivate the public to stop littering.

If he can do this we can turn our time and efforts to helping The North Carolina Coastal Federation to restore oysters instead of wasting our very valuable volunteer’s time in picking up other peoples discards.

Thank you Jim for sparking this fine effort to make Shackleford clean for our tourists, our selves and our wild horses. It is our Yosemite. We need to be able to take pride in it. Elmer Eddy

Elmer, The White Oak River Trashman, 101 River Reach Drive West, Swansboro, NC 28584
Stewards of the White Oak River Basin
Please visit: cell phone 910-389-4588

Blind CC to Stewards #1 and #2 and copy to Coastal Carolina Kayakers

To all: Please reserve Thursday for a paddle on The White Oak River from Stella to Hadnot Creek. Join us if you can. More later. Elmer ——————————————————————————————————————————–


2005-07-23Shackleford Banks Clean Up, this Saturday

There are still seats available at this popsting time. Just show up if you can’t call. All Marines are welcome! We can do it!.Elmer

Subject: 2005-07-23, this Saturday, Shackleford Banks Litter Clean Up

Perry of Outer Banks Ferry Service in Beaufort at 326 Front Street, across from the museum, has graciously arranged to take 16 of us over Shackleford at 8:30 and return us and our trash from the island at 2:30

This offer is limited to 16 people so please e-mail me if you want to go. I will have bags. Bring your own pick-up sticks or tell me if you want one.

The first 16 to reply, on a first come, first serve basis. Bring your lunch , bug spray, sun tan lotion, and swim suit.

Let’s get Shackleford clean! This should be a giant step toward this doing just that.

E-mail or phone 910-389-4588. Elmer


2005-07-20,this Wednesday, Southwest Prong of The White Oak River

We were so intrigued with this adventure last time that we are going back again and see how far up we can go past the Big Cypress Trees. There is plenty of deep water if we can clear a trail through the blown down trees and make this beautiful river usable.

Dale Weston is bringing our chain saw. More chain saws would be welcome. Clippers and hand saws of all kinds welcome. Also a “come along” could be helpful.

We will meet at 9:00 at Emmett’s Lane Bridge and plan on taking out at 3:00 at the same place.

There should be no trash at all to pick up. We’ll see! Come and join us. Elmer

My picture was taken by Bert Bilodeau of The New River Foundation at the Enviro Fair in Jacksonville on Saturday.
The Trashman is trying to get all littering stopped at the source before it happens. What we are doing now is a failure. Our leaders and the Public have got to face this. If no one litters there will be no litter. “Pay as you go” is not the answer. That will only induce more illegal dumping. Look at tires. When we charged 2.00 they ended up in our rivers, forests and farmlands by the thousands! When we included the cost of disposal in the price if the tire there were no more tires illegally dumped that any other large item. Elmer———————————————————–Elmer, The White Oak River TrashmanStewards of the White Oak River BasinPlease visit: 910-389-4588—————————————————————-


2005-07-12, this Tuesday, The Thorofare, “thurfur”

Al Morris has set this up for us. Here is his info.We will meet at 9:00 at the Wildlife Ramp off Route 70, left after high rise bridge at Sea Level on dirt road back to water. Will then set up shuttle.


Name of Trip: Salter Creek (put-in) to Thorofare

This is trip 8 on Map 4 (Harkers Island Bridge to Cedar Island) CCC&KC; map.
Skill Level – I
Time – 5 to 6 hrs
Difficulty – M/D
Distance – 13 miles
Maps – Long Bay, NC topo

Paddle Description

This trail starts at the Wildlife Ramp at the head of Nelson Bay on Salters Creek. Leaving
the boat ramp, paddle west for 3 1/2 miles up a tree-lined channel full of fauna and wildlife. Exiting
Creek, paddle north for 1/2 mile and you find a hunting blind, which has an access located in the
rear that can accommodate 4 boats at a time. North along the Eastern Shore of Long Bay you will
pass Owens Bay around the 6 1/2 mile mark. It offers a nice sandy beach on which more than
20 boats can land. (Lunch Break) The remainder of the paddle entails paddling about 1 1/2 miles
to Long Bay Point where the trail turns eastward as you paddle about 4 miles up marsh lined
West Thorofare Bay and Thorofare to the access at the Monroe Gaskill Memorial Bridge on NC-12.


Wind and tides affect this paddle. Winds blowing in from the Pamlico Sound can make this
paddle difficult. Remember this is open water and paddle accordingly. Be mindful of pound
nets an vigilant for pleasure craft and fishing boats/trawlers.

Driving Directions

Salters Creek Wildlife Ramp: Located about 25 miles east of the intersection of US70/101 (Beaufort)
East of Beaufort and under the Salters Creek Bridge (High Rise before Sea Level) at the US-70/NC-12
Intersection. Ample off road parking.

Monroe Gaskill Memorial Bridge: Continue east on US-12 for about 11/2 miles. Take the first left
before the Bridge.

Bring food, water, sun screen and insect repellent.
Elmer 910-389-4588


2005-07-10, Pettiford Creek, former dam site by land

I crossed Pettiford Creek on Rte 58 going north and took my first right past the bridge and went out Whitehouse Road to Millis Road and turned right on Millis and right again on first dirt road to the right which is Croatan Forest Road #302.

I drove to the end and parked Snowwhite there. Replaced Izaak Walton “Don”t Litter” sign with a new one.

No vehicles allowed past this point now. Took the trail to the left which leads to the old dam.

A new pretty white flower seen along the way.
This is the first walk I ever took in Croatan without seeing a single piece of trash. My dream realized! The trail was covered with pinestraw and huge pine cones. I did see the moon, a mushroom that looked like the moon! Analien space craft (a bug) landed on the moon as I went to take the picture. He did not like the environment and took off immediately.
This is tranquil Pettiford Creek at the old dam site (there is another one upstream). This is my favorite spot on Pettiford where we usually eat lunch unles we are going upstream to the Beaver Lodge to have lunch there. That is on the enchanted wildflower lake formed by the very large and long beaver dam. This is one beaver dam that should never be removed or cut through. It would destroy this beautiful unique lake.


2005-07-09, A Walk with Elmer in Croatan Forest

Beautiful purple flower

Blue berries. They were good.
Pretty yellow flower
Orange flower
Lovely fern
Took some home to Florence
Trash. It has been here for over a year!
More of the same.
This piece looks like it has been here forever.
More pretty purple flowers.
Exquisite thistle blossum.
This is the trash I picked along the trail. In addition to this litter, you can see how our lovely Croatan National Forest is being used as a dumping ground. We hope to correct this by creating Caravans for Croatan to remove it. Volunteers with pick up trucks are welcome to restore our Forest to its natural state.


2005-07-05 White Oak River, past the Big Cypress Trees

This day we paddled from Emmetts Lane Bridge up the White Oak past the Big Cypress to the confluence of the North and South Prongs. This was a real adventure into unknown waters.

The picture, #1485 is of Dale Weston at the confluence. As you can see there is plenty of water but it is filled with old moss covered logs. One had little white eggs in the crevices. We ate lunch here and a little striped lizard took up with Dale’s blue tee shirt and explored it thoroughly for our entertainment.

The weather was excellent the water was cool. The White Oak was more beautiful than ever. There were no snakes or bugs or deer flies (Gary). We had a real adventure cutting our way through to get here. #1479 shows a new blow down on the way up to the Big Cypress with Dave, Julia and Missy getting around it.

#1487, the group, Julia Miner and Missy Tenhet from Oriental, Dave McCracken from New Bern and Dale Weston from Jacksonville. Everyone wants to make a return trip to continue our exploration up stream. They want some more chain saws along. Any volunteers?

There is plenty of water. Mike’s gauge at Rte 17 read minus 8 inches. The measurement from the bottom of the concrete bridge at Emmetts was 50 inches. With a little less water we could do a better job of clearing a canoe trail clear of obstructions.

Next week we turn back east. We will do the Thorough Fare, “thurfur” if it is not too windy. (See new CCCKC map). Al Morris will let us know. If too windy we will return to Cahoogue Creek and Hancock Creek and explore them both. ————————————————————–

Dale and Dave confronting an old mossy obstructing log which Dale cut through and opened a passageway.
At the confluence of the North and South Prongs of the White Oak River never before seen by anyone present today. The water is still deep and we can paddle upstream on both Prongs if we can cut our way through the fallen trees blocking the way. Any volunteers? Who knows what we may find?
Dale and Elmer at confluence.
Missy heading into the unknown!
The intrepid explorers with me this time.
The intrepid explorers with Dave.
Dave, Julia and Missy getting around a new blown down tree on the way up to the Big Cypress Trees. We will get it out of there on our next trip. Our adveture was very enjoyable and productive and we can’t wait to get back up there to see what is around the next bend.


2005-07-01, New River

2005-07-01, New River from Rte 24 above Richlands to Rte 24 below Richlands.

This is the six foot high beaver dam we encountered. It was awesome looking down from the top. That large blowndown tree across the top of the dam did not help any except the beavers. That is my canoe on the left and it is about six feet down to that foaming white water on the right below the dam.

That is Marie Justen being let down the dam by Don Sykes with a rope like he let me down. Marie says she closed her eyes! Who is going to let Don down? As view of the dam from below.
Marie Justen and Don Sykes at the take out with our haul of trash for the day. We had to leave a ten foot neon light and a 90 gallon trash bin on wheels like the ones they provide for house pick up and several tires. All this stuff is heading for Jacksonville and will get there with successive periods of flood waters.

We must find a way to stop people from throwing their trash off bridges. The New River Foundation and Keep Onlsow Beautiful, through Big Sweep this fall will be picking up this Richland’s area trash as they have been year in and year out. Our leaders need to do something to stop this horrible dumping in our rivers!

Here is Don scoming down the dam like lightning. Don and Marie at the chrch with the trash. Elmer


2005-07-01, New River,from Rte. 24 north of Richlands to 24 south of Richlands.

2005-07-01, New River, Section #1.

This paddle is described in detail in Paul Ferguson’s book, “Paddling Eastern North Carolina” See pages 388-391.

This six mile section is very different and interesting. North of 24, judging from what we can see from the road and from driving up to the next bridge too on County Road 1230 the banks appear to be natural.

Immediately south of 24 huge high berms appear and the river appears to have been cut straight through what, today, would be called wetlands, lands which have been converted to farmlands. There also appears to be natural sections of high ground too.

Wherever low land farm lands exist there are culverts of varying sizes installed through these berms to drain these farm lands.

The end result existing now is that we are canoeing through, a tunnel. The walls of this tunnel are the steep banks of the man made berms covered with small trees and bushes which have grown up on these berms and as they have grown they bend over the river growing toward light and sunshine and thus have caused a dense canopy over this narrow creek. Grape vines and other vines have grown on them and altogether they cause the effect of creating a dark tunnel.

We came upon sections of very cool air in these tunnels. We also had brush and small limbs and vines in our faces to paddle through. We were fortunate to have the water level just right for these existing conditions. If the water was level was lower we would have grounded on the numerous sand bars. If it was higher we would have been up in the dense branches. There is evidence that the water level has been six to eight feet higher!

The gradient here is 4.6 feet to the mile per Paul’s book. This makes for a fast run off and swift running water. We put-in at 10:00 and got off at 1:45. A slalom course could be set up here in highwater periods. Can you imagine the water six to eight feet higher than what we experienced today?

In the making of these berms they must have dug much deeper than the present conditons indicate. This original depth is all filled with sand now washed out of the adjacent fields.

Beavers are active in this first part up to the Banks Bridge Road. Most dams we got over easily. One dam was huge, about six feet high. It was an awesome sight to look over it. A large blown down tree lay across the top on the right side and was still attached to the stump on the bank on the right side. We could have gone under in on the left or over it on the right. The pictures will show how we did this.

If you plan to paddle this section be prepared to face the above situations. Banks Bridge Road is about half way. You can put-in there and avoid all to the above. The rest of the trip is fairly clear of obstructions. Marie jumped into the lead here for some reason and was promptly rewarded with a small black snake dropping into her lap. He exited quickly and headed for the water.

The participants were Don Sykes from Cary, Marie Justen from Spooners Creek and the writer. We had quite an adventure. At times we felt like we were in the jungles of the Amazon