This creek was reported to us by members of The Twin Rivers Paddle Club in New Bern. The report was bad!
Trash, trash trash everywhere. Filthy! An open sewer! We could not stand this. We are members of the Stewards
of the White Oak River Basin. This creek is in the Neuse River Basin.
For years members of the Twin River Paddle club have been helping us clean our rivers. So, we decided to help
them clean Scotts Creek and return the favor. They responded beautifully. We had about twenty in all. We split
into two groups. We could not locate any access to get on the creek. We called Charlie Hall of the New Bern Sun
Journal and we told him of our plans and problem. He graciously put an article in the paper and we had two responses.
That is Charlie to the right with his back to the camera in the group picture.
Hilda Pope of 502 Howell Road was the first. She has been cleaning the creek for years. She was delighted to get our
help and offered her back yard as an access to get on the water. She paddled with us and picked up trash. Pallets
were part of the trash that washed up on her land. She used them as a walk way over the silted in shoreline to get to
Ron Phillips was the second one to call. He lives at 316 Johns St. He also offered his premises as access to the river.
He met us at Lawson Creek Park.
We split into two groups Ron lead one group to his house and the rest of us went to Hilda’s.
The group: Dale Weston from Jacksonville was late and is not in the picture. They came from Jacksonville,
Hubert, Swansboro, Emerald Isle, Pine Knoll Shores, Arapahoe, New Bern, River Bend and Pollocksville.
They are all now automatically members of Stewards of the White Oak River Basin. Guess we have to
change our name to Stewards of Our Waterways.
They are Mike Markham, Jim Stevens, Ed Mazzilli, Shep Harvey, Ron Phillips, Bob Bordeaux, Julia Miner,
Ed Gruca, Edie Romaine, Dale Weston, Dave McCracken, Bill Murray, Frank Bruno, Joanne Somerday,
Dean Carzoo, Elmer Eddy. Hilda Pope, and Dale Weston, not shown. For all his help in making this trip a real
success story we are making Charlie Hall an honorary member.
Mustang kayak carrier
Charlie Hall, New Bern Sun Journal photographer and Ed Gruca duel with cameras at 50 paces.
That is alligator weed in fore ground. This is a very noxious weed from South America which has taken
over this creek. We had to dig our way through it to get to the water. Hilda Pope tells us it completely
closes the creek in the summer. This should not be! We are contacting North Carolina Department of
Environmental and Natural Resources about this.
Joanne decided to launch this chair in lieu of paddling thru the alligator weed. Hilda Pope is reaching for it.
One way to get through is to follow a trail left by the previous paddlers but it closes up quickly. It grows
a foot in a day!
Joanne is going backwards in this shot. It is so thick we used our paddles as poles. By summer time
it will be impossible to get through it at all!
Elmer pushes with his paddle and Jim pulls with the hoe. They made a nice trail through the alligator weed.
They actually dug it out and pushed it back into open water. It was a foot to two feet thick!
Litter photos taken by Elmer in a low vacant lot next door to Hilda’s on Howell Road.
It has washed up here on high north east wind tides and deposited here behind the
marsh grass and alligator weed. It is still there and can be picked up by land.
This would be a nice project for some group to do for our Governor’s Clean Sweep
which commences April 19th. Someone has picked a little of it.
There is lot’s more of it. This is only a sample.
Bill Murray with another find.
Ron thought we could take this back in the little canoe. Sorry Ron, it will have to stay in your back yard
which we are facing! Actually, if it had not been so full of silt, it would have been possible to tow it.
This pipe has got to be removed. Maybe it should be hauled ashore. Get a line on it and drag it out!
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One of the three parallel tunnels under Rt 70, a six lane highway above. These are long!
Would make a nice three kayak race! (Gentlemen(Ladies) start your kayaks!
The “light” at the end of the tunnel. They are about 8 feet wide and fun to paddle.
You can sing or make wild animal noises and other interesting sounds on your way thru!
Elmer took this photo of Jim Niedermeyer exiting the tunnel heading back from the Neuse.
Ed follows Ron en-route to one of three canoe loads they picked up on the way to the Neuse River.
Highway 70 and interchanges in the background.
This was one of the canoe loads
That is Ed Gruca with the other one. Ed is also our camera man. Thanks for the fine pictures Ed. Most of
the comments on them are Ed’s.
This active railroad bridge has some problems! This is the New Bern to Morehead Railroad owned by
the State of North Carolina.
Another canoe load of trash.
Ed Gruca with his canoe loaded. The kayakers have to unload on the canoes.
Another load coming thru the tunnels. Kind of like mining!
The tunnel framed this photo.
Loading the NCDOT marker barrel and the large truck tire in next photo
We had to tow the large truck tire back. It had just enough buoyancy and was real drag! It just made
the canoe too unstable on top of the boat. Ed had visions of sinking in the tunnel.
Ed’s camera developed a large scratch in the center of the lens on the last trip and he is learning how
to compensate. That is why you may see some defects in the center of some photos. And a few other
nuances as well. We apologize to those who are the victims of this technical problem! Some corrections
were necessary and some “body parts” were harvested from other photos.
This is the trash unloaded at Ron’s house that came from the Neuse side of the tunnels.They loaded it in a
pick up truck of Mike’s? He took it to Hilda’s and put it with the others. NCDOT very kindly picked it up for us.
We are reporting this to Niki Bell to be included in the Governor’s Clean Sweep efforts now in progress.
This will look nice over the mantle
Who was Ensign Parker????
Joanne and Jim Stevens coming back from the Neuse.
OK! So where is the Tom Sawyer?
Joanne Somerday and Jim Stevens waiting for Elmer to come through the tunnels.
These birds are walking on the alligator weed and feasting on insects. We hope those sinsects are not
the flea beetles that eat these noxious weeds.
Rt 17 bridge over the Neuse River……..looking North
Looks like a UFO! That is the active railroad bridge at the far right. That is alligator weed lining booth shorelines.
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Our combined collection for the day!
Waiting for Elmer to come home.
We had a excellent, enjoyable and very productive day. We hope our Noxious Weed folks will spray the alligator weed and get rid of it.
We are sending this report to them in Raleigh.This creek seems to be overlooked and neglected and trashed. It is also severely silted in.
The locals blame this on the construction of the airport.
This small creek is a lovely as they come. It should be open and clean and navigable. It definitely should not be an open, clogged sewer!
Especially so right here in the historic cradle of North Carolina.
Elmer, The White Oak River Trashman