Stewards of the White Oak River Basin.
All of you, everyone, the general public, all you have to do is to stop littering.
Can’t you please do this simple little thing?
The rewards for all of us will be above and beyond
your imagination. Let’s just do it! Please! Thank you. Elmer
2007-02-24 Wallace Creek on Camp Lejeune
We are e-mailing this trip report again today, June 22, 2007 as we are pleased and proud to report
the picture captioned, “We were not alone on the river.”, was taken with a telescopic lens by our
own Ed Gruca.
This picture appears on the cover of the new five year White Oak River Basinwide Water Quality Plan
dated May 2007 which just arrived. It is published by the North Carolina Department of Environment
and Natural Resources and developed by the Division of Water Quality, Planning Section, Basin Wide
By the time we got up to where these paddlers were they had disappeared so we never had the
opportunity to talk with them.
Ed Gruca has corrected me. I remember the others we saw were two kayakers. These three canoes
are all our own Dale Weston. This is panoramic photo! So Dale, you appear three times on the cover
of our State’s Five Year Plan!
We quote from the Executive Summary, North Carolina’s Basinwide Approach to Quality Management
on page #1:
“White Oak River Basin Overview”
“The White Oak River basin lies entirely within the outer coastal plain (Figure i). The name of the basin
is a bit of a misnomer in that it includes four separate river systems: the New River and its tributaries
in the southwestern section; the White Oak River and its tributaries; the Newport River and its
tributaries; and the North River in the eastern section. The basin also includes Bogue, Back and Core
Sounds as well as significant portions of the Intracoastal Waterway.”
It also includes creeks like Bear Creek, Queens Creek, Broad Creek, Gates Creek, and many more
smaller creeks emptying into the Intracoastal Waterway or our Sounds.
On page 258, section 15.1.3, Stewards of The White Oak River Basin, our own goals and accomplishments
We feel this is a good time to make our own Five Year Plan for the entire White Oak River Basin.
(You may even find us on any river in Eastern North Carolina! We began by picking up trash as we paddled.
We became Stewards of the White Oak River. We moved up and on and became Stewards of the White Oak
River Basin. Maybe in the next five years we will become Stewards of the Waterways of Eastern North Carolina.)
#1. Our ultimate goal is to encourage every citizen to stop littering. Our motto is: “If no one litters
there will be no litter”. Our beautiful land and waters nature has endowed us with deserve to be litter free!
#2. We will continue to paddle once or twice a week year round on good weather days until we have
visited ever foot of shoreline in the entire White Oak River Basin and left it clean. Please don’t let it be
your trash and litter we will be picking up.
Our leaders in our state, counties,cities and towns can make our efforts successful by encouraging our
citizens to stop littering. Enforcing our litter laws vigorously would help where needed. When we have
to go back again and again to the same place, it is very discouraging. Our leaders can and must stop
these repeat offenders. There should be a sign on every bridge facing both ways, “Do not throw anything
in this water. You will be prosecuted and fined!”.
#3. We all deserve to live in a litter free society. You can help us attain this goal. Elmer
Back to Wallace Creek and the “cover” picture which was on a lovely paddle on a nice winter day:
We had a delightful paddle here today. Our own Dale Weston owns a sail boat here at
Gottschalk Marina where we launched.
A typical shoreline on the lower reaches. Hurricanes have blown down these cedars and
exposed their roots. Time and the elements have denuded their foliage. The end result is
these grotesque and picturesque formations.
You tell us what it is!
We interrupted this belted kingfisher’s fishing and he protested loudly as he flew off.
He came to rest again several times more as we paddled along the shore line upstream. Ed
caught him good this time before he took off.
Here is a bigger fellow he caught on the other side of the river. This is a vulture. He was
feeding on something near the shore in the woods. He was there again on our return trip
with his buddies flying over head.
An osprey eyes Dale!
Dale tests his luck under a pelican.
We were not alone on the river. Ed caught them in his telescopic lens. Wrong! This is a panoramic. That is
Dale Weston in his canoe each time.
That’s me in the front seat of the canoe going through one of the culverts under Piney
Aren’t I a pretty boy!
Here I am again with my sweetheart.
We decided to take off and get away from these intruders.
Dale’s sail boat is the second sail boat in from the right end. Ed treated us to a Yoengling
and we sat on board telling stories.
This ended a most enjoyable trip on a lovely winter’s day. We had to turn around about a
1/2 mile above Piney Green Road. We had cut through a couple of small trees but they
became larger and more frequent. Like all streams in Onslow County this stream could be
made navigable much farther upstream as the water is still deep and would be navigable
if the blown-down trees obstructing navigation were removed.
It would be wonderful if we could find an access up further so we could paddle
downstream from there to Gottschalk Marina. Maybe the Marines would help us with this. Or
maybe, Michael Hart with his Eagle Scout Troop.
We picked up about 1/2 a bag of trash so the river is clean upstream for all paddlers to
The participants today were Dale Weston of Jacksonville, Ed Gruca of Emerald Isle and
myself. We will paddle again Wednesday the 28th. Don’t know where yet. Join us if you can.
More later. Any ideas welcome.
Everyone is invited to join us on our paddles anytime. If you wish to receive advance notices
please let us know. Elmer