2009-06-11 Southwest Creek, Camp Lejeune, NC

2009-06-09, Southwest Creek, Camp Lejeune, NC

With time our waterways will become paved with this kind of stuff. I know all of you receiving this e-mail do not litter but we can do more to encourage others to stop littering. If we do not do this we can expect our waterways, (our playing fields), to continue to be littered by discarded trash along our highways and off our bridges as well as by boaters and fishermen and hunters.

This is a picture I took in my office just to make sure my camera was working and ready for the day’s paddling. That small milk bottle must be over 50 years old. It has three cent return by the State of North Carolina molded on the glass! The other bottle had live clams in it. You can see by the size of the shells they had grown too large to ever get out of this bottle. It was as narrow neck whiskey bottle.

We realize we have been concentrating on alligatorweed since last November 26 when we discovered large growths of it could be dislodged and allowed to float downstream to saltwater where it dies. We were elated with this discovery and we thought everyone else would be too.

Jim Niedermeyer and Elmer Eddy had hoped to get all floating alligator weed
below the trestle down into the kill zone today. We put in at the trestle and
immediately began freeing the floating mats of weed from what ever was holding
them up.

Due to lack of rain the current was very weak so the mats moved very slowly.
Never the less, we had them all freed down to the first concrete barrier on the
left downstream. This is the beginning of the kill zone. We ate lunch here.

After lunch a fairly strong southerly wind came up. We saw immediately this was
not the time to be trying to float the mats downstream. The combined effect of
the slow current, the strong southerly breeze and the incoming tide actually
moved the freed mats back upstream!

So, we stopped freeing the mats and paddled downstream to Maple Landing.

This picture is of one of the largest mats we ever freed in one entwined mass.
You can see the white crab pot float on it just left of center. It will be interesting
to see if it gets past Maple Landing. None ever has before.

The picture below shows alligatorweed beginning to deteriorate in the kill zone.

As we paddled downstream we noticed the mats of weed lacked blooms and were
lower growing and appearing sickly. The kill zone is sure death to this very noxious,
invasive foreign weed.

If those who are opposing what we are doing had worked with us instead, there
would be no floating alligatorweed in Southwest Creek main channels today.

The rains will come, the tide and the wind will change but our opponents stick to
their old unsuccessful methods. Had their methods been successful all this growth would not
be present as it is. They seem to completely ignore the fact that if it is not there it cannot grow there!

We have already cleared from Rte 17 down to where the tides come into play. And we have escorted tons of it down into the kill zone. None of it has lived past Maple Landing!

With time and natures help we will get it all down there. With the help of those opposing us we could do it in very short order. Our trips are always open to all to join us. Motor boaters could speed up this process rapidly.

Not a single one of those opposing what we are doing has ever showed up to see what we are doing. Why?

To us Alligatorweed is just another kind if litter and trash. It is however, the very worst kind. That is why we are concentrating on it. It grows and grows and grows and doubles in mass in a very few weeks.

In the past every bit of alligatorweed left in the river has become a perfect nursery for it to grow and prosper. And believe me, it has.

Sorry, no trip planned for this week. I have personal and family matters to attend to. Don’t let this stop you.

Plan a trip to do whatever you want and wherever you want to paddle. I can get it out to all if you send it to me. Elmer

Elmer Eddy
Elmer, The White Oak River Trashman
Stewards of The White Oak River Basin
101 River Reach Drive West,
Swansboro, NC. 28584
910-389-4588 e-mail: elmer@whiteoakstewards.org
Please visit our website: http://www.whiteoakstewards.org/
“If no one litters, there will be no litter!”

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2009-06-03, Southwest Creek, Camp Lejeune, NC

2009-06-03 Southwest Creek, Camp Lejeune, NC
2009-06-03 Southwest Creek. This is at the trestle. How did that tangled mass of
alligatorweed get up on those pipes? That looks like a fishing line in the center.

This was an open section. As you can see it is closed now.
This is looking upstream from the trestle. Many times before we have dislodged
those masses on the left. They are hung up on fallen trees in the river.
We can get through this opening.
Here are grown mature mats that we have dislodged from upstream. This
was taken from the trestle.
Here we are at the trestle. The freed mats are here now too.
That is Denise Chadurjian from Wilmington on the left and Bill Murray from
Pine Knoll Shores on the right. Jim Niedermeyer from Hubert and Elmer Eddy
from Swansboro are the other members of today’s paddle.

We are making an observation trip today from the trestle to Ragged Point on
the New River to assess the alligator weed situation as it exists today below
the trestle.

Back in the winter this area was loaded with alligatorweed. We moved it all
out to float downstream to it’s death. That triangular like clump on the left
may be one that came through the trestle. If so we will move it out again
into the current this coming Thursday.

Another downstream shot from the bridge. Beautiful isn’t it! That is one small
mat on the right. We will move that one out this Thursday too.
This is upstream of the bridge! This would not be here if the old pilings had
been removed or cut-off four feet below the surface at low tide as present day
regulations specify. They are a hazard to navigation!

They also, as you can plainly see, effectively prevent alligatorweed from floating
naturally through the trestle and down to die naturally in salt water where it can’t live.

We have been working with Camp Lejeune to have these pilings removed or cut off.

We asked Brian if he would object to having these pilings cut off four feet below
the surface. He said no, it would be good for navigation. I asked him to so e-mail
Camp Lejeune and he said he would.

Now Brian say he will not do this until we stop doing what we are doing. He seems
to be more interested in stopping us from succeeding than controlling alligator
weed! What is your motive Brian?

This is an interesting picture. This is a new opening in the far western side
under the trestle. This is where Brian Wheat must have gone through with
his 18 foot center console motor boat. Brian how did you do that without your
prop fragmenting all that alligatorweed? We break only a few stems when we
do it with our hand tools. You say each fragment is going to sprout and grow
into new masses. You must have created a million new masses Brian! You will
be responsible for creating a million new mats below the trestle! You are guilty
of promoting the spread of this noxious weed!
It did not stay open all the way through.
This is looking upstream from the trestle. We have freed those two or three
mats on the left many times.

Jim Niedermeyer, up front in my canoe, is clearing the opening for Chris
Hoover and he sister Nicky. They arrived as we were heading down stream.
They wanted to paddle upstream so we reopened this one section for them.
We got it open enough to paddle through. See the mats floating away down stream.

There they go on to their death!

It is surprising ho
w fast they do go and they keep it up until they become
hung up again or succumb to salt water in the kill zone..

The water level went down and left these mats stranded. They look sickly.
We believe they are already beginning to expire. They have entered the
kill zone!
Here is a washed out very high bank below Maple Landing on the way out to
Ragged Point. This is down stream of the kill zone. Please notice the absence
of any alligatorweed.
This is a piece of trash we picked up along the shore.
This is large section of fencing we could not get free to carry out.
This is alligator weed at our launching site at the trestle. This area was bare
crushed rocks all winter. When spring came this alligatorweed sprouted
right up through the rocks. We can do nothing with this. It will take a licensed
person to spray it and kill it. Brian and Diana have told us they will not spray
it.

Rob, can you send a licensed person down here to do it. It would be a shame
to have spots like this contaminate the whole creek again. We will be happy to
show him where all similar spots are. Your air boat can come u here from
Maple Landing. We don’t know if you can go through the trestle with it.

Looking upstream from the trestle. Alligatorweed masses or mats like this
still exist upstream to the high tide line. This is about opposite the end of
Old Range Road. This is about 1/3rd of the distance to Route 17. Brian Wheat
says it is like this all the way to Route 17. That is absolutely false! We have
this creek cleared of 95% of all floating alligator weed in the main channel
2/3rds of the way down to the trestle. We would have had it all down to salt
water and its death if Brian had not scared off our volunteers.

We are moving all alligatorweed downstream that exists below the bridge
this Thursday. Motor boaters are invited to join us. You can motor up Southwest
Creek from wherever you launch your boats. All others coming by canoes and
kayaks or light john boat please meet us at the Food Lion Parking Lot on Rte.
17 south of Jacksonville. This is opposite the in gate to the Marine Air Corps
Station.

We meet there at 9:00AM. We will caravan to the trestle. We expect to be off
the water at 3:00. Everyone is invited to join us. We would love to have you
come just to paddle and observe.

We will make a full report of this Thursday’s excursion ASAP. We think you could
say this is the third or fourth time we have done this. It keeps breaking through
trestle a little at a time. Thanks, Elmer

That black dot in the center of the picture at the edge of the woods is a black
bear. She had two or three cubs with her! Elmer

Elmer Eddy
Elmer, The White Oak River Trashman
Stewards of The White Oak River Basin
101 River Reach Drive West,
Swansboro, NC. 28584
910-389-4588 e-mail:
elmer@whiteoakstewards.org
Please visit our website: http://www.whiteoakstewards.org/
“If no one litters, there will be no litter!”