09-30-09, this Wednesday, Southwest Creek, Camp Lejeune, NC

The last day of September is greeting us with a sunny day with lows in the upper fifties..

The old railroad bridge is now cleared of all foreign, invasive, alligatorweed
which has been hung up on the old railroad pilings left in the river under the bridge..

We intend to keep it that way!

We meet at the Food Lion parking lot on Route 17 south of Jacksonville at 9:00 AM.
This is across 17 from the main gate to the Air Base.

We will be off the water by 3:00. Should be a beautiful day on the water!

All are welcome to join us. You can observe only or you can play with us. Yes, it is
play to us, like floating a stick or bottle downstream as a kid. You can play with us for
as long as you like and take off any time to paddle and explore on your own.

Come join us if you can. Canoes, kayaks, and motor boats are all welcome.Thanks, Elmer

Waterway Stewards






2009-09-08 Southwest Creek, Camp Lejeune, NC

2009-09-08 Southwest Creek, Camp Lejeune, NC

The battle on how to control Alligatorweed goes on!

This trip was after the good prolonged tropical rains we received. Jacksonville
was reported at 4.7 inches. Jaclsonville City limits border this creek

Today we intended to clear out the west smaller channel which takes off right
below the bridge as this can only be done with good high water.

When we arrived we observed the rush of high water had lifted 80 % of what
was tied up on the bridge pilings and the old pilings left in the water.

So, on seeing this, we decided to help nature and finish what the high water
had done and finish clearing all alligatorweed from the bridge pilings, both
existing and the old ones that were cutoff at water level. We thought that
this would only take us a few hours at most!

But, alas, it took us all day just to get the east side cleared.

This is one completely cleared opening.

Here is another. All of them were cleared on the west side only. We took before
and after pictures. Unfortunately, the “before” pictures were blurred and
Ed Gruca would not publish them. I have saved them if anyone wants to see them.
These are examples of what we had to pull off the front face of the new pilings
and up and over the numerous old pilings
This is more of the same.

This was a very difficult job. We could not sit upright in the canoe due to the high water.

The long stems and roots went down way below the top of the old pilings. They were
twisted and interwoven and hung together in a very heavy mass.

As you can see they are very much alive. They survived Brian Wheat’s spraying and the
other earlier heavy spraying by parties unknown.

Some of it could even be new coming from upstream. We are sure tons more of it
from upstream was flushed through the bridge too by the extremely high water.

We will explore next week below the bridge and see what has happened to all of that.

Unfortunately again, Brian did not spray what is growing on land on the east end of the
bridge or anywhere else. Instead, his group sprayed what was floating and hung up in
the kill zone all the way down below the bridge.

Why, Brian? It would have died down there anyway! We need to work together, Brian!
What you wasted down there could have killed all alligatorweed growing on land in the
entire creek!

Let’s get together Brian and work together like we used to do and get this job done! Elmer

While we are here this is as good a time as any to get this controversial issue settled.

This is the second time we have cleared all alligatorweed hung up on these old pilings.
If they are left there again on the next bridge replacement it will create a virtual dam!
So why wait until then to replace them? They never should have been left there in the
first place!

They violate every State and Federal law on the books for navigable waters. And, by
definition Southwest Creek is a navigable body of water.

We had been working with Mr. William Rogers, Head Environmentalist for Camp Lejeune,
and had obtained a reasonable quote from a licensed approved contractor to do the job.

When this controversy arose Mr. Rogers felt he needed the approval of the “experts” before
spending government money. As Brian Wheat was the apparent leader of the “experts” I
phoned Brian and he agreed with me on the removal and said he would call Mr. Rogers
Monday and tell him so.

Brian became miffed at me because of an e-mail I had written over the weekend and
never called and continues to refuse to do so even though he knows these pilings should
be removed if we are ever going to control the rapid growth of alligatorweed in this creek.

I then went directly to the Coast Guard. They agreed they never should have been left there.
But, as there is no commercial navigation on Southwest Creek and no one has complained
about their presence they don’t feel there is sufficient cause to remove them now.

We also think a strict and proper interpretation of the federal and state laws applying to
noxious, invasive, imported foreign, aquatic weeds requires their removal.

We think Wildlife will agree with this and am asking Gordon Myers by copy of this e-mail to
come forth and express their concern about their presence here which has allowed alligatorweed
to flourish here and double in volume every two to three weeks. They thus create a perfect nursery
for alligatorweed to do just this.

This has grown to the point of a solid blanket not only here at the bridge but up and down the
entire creek again and again. This has cut off the sunlight necessary for bream to propagate and
destroyed the opportunity to fly fish and fish any way in these places.

There are always some Marines fishing here at the bridge. They can fish on the down-water side of the bridge
only as they cannot get their lines in the water on the upstream side. (Until now, that is.)

Hopefully, all concerned will come forth and ask the Coast Guard to remove these pilings. Elmer

Elmer Eddy

Elmer, The White Oak River Trashman
Stewards of The White Oak River Basin
Waterway Stewards
207 Spann Road, Trenton, NC, 28585
910-389-4588 e-mail:
Please visit our website: http://www.whiteoakstewards.org/
“If no one litters, there will be no litter!”

“If alligatorweed is not there it cannot sprout and grow there!”


2009-08-12, 14,15,16, Southwest Creek, Camp Lejeue, NC.

2009-08-12,14,15,16 Southwest Creek, Camp Lejeune, NC

A lot happpened to Alligatorweed in Southwest Creek over the above four days and prior.

Earlier some people had sprayed huge sections heavily, and unevenly with a chemical that
apparently was a contact only mix. It killed down to the surface of the water only. So it was
not a systematic mix. Had it been so it would have killed the under water growth and roots too.

What continued to live under water very quickly put out new growth above water and we
again had solid green alligator weed most everywhere. Their spraying did reduce the enormous
volume of alligatorweed above water wherever it was applied.

Brian Wheat and others sprayed with their systemic spray on August 12. They began below
Maple Landing. This is the first sighting this year of alligatorweed below Maple Landing. We
had several good rains earlier and these must have pushed the salter water kill zone downstream

into this area.

On the 14th, 15th and 16th we had heavy, prolonged rains over the Southwest Creek watershed.

The combination of these three things, the two sprayings and huge volume of fresh water has left
hodge-podge groups of alliagtor weed up and down the river. Some groups are still bright green and
thriving. Some are partially killed and others are just plain gone. These last ones are the best ones.

These last ones are gone completly from sight as all alligatorweed in this creek is killed when it is
transported by the river current into the kill zone. A good indication of where the kill zone normally
is to go by the Inland/Coastal water license signs installed by Wildlife. This is what they apparently
consider to be the dividing line between salt and fresh water.

Ed Gruca, couldn’t pass up taking a picture of these wild hibiscus or marshmallow. They were beautiful
as we came down into the marshes..

This is what we found at the railroad bridge. This was solid alligatorweed 50 to
60 feet upstream from the bridge. The prolonged heavy rains of the 13th, 14th
and 15th lifted it up and forced it downstream over and around the old pilings
that had been holding it up at the bridge. Tons of it went downstream to its death.

Please do not forget that this is the area that we had completely cleaned of all
alligatorweed back in the winter!

This is where we launch our canoes and kayaks at the Railroad Bridge. It is still
here and will remain so until Brian Wheat and this crew spray it. This is so because
it is not floating on the water but growing on land. There are several other spots
up and down the stream where it is growing on land and must be sprayed.
Ninety percent of the alligatoreed is gone! This is on the east side of the island.
Not so lucky on the westside. We estimate 70% has gone downstream. Which is
This is looking upstream from the east side of the bridge.

This is looking downstream from the RR bridge, that bush on the right is on
the island in the middle of the bridge. Pretty clean river, isn’t it?
Here we are looking upstream through the bridge on the east side.

This is looking upstream through the bridge on the west side.

A bright green thriving patch untouched by any spraying downstream of the bridge.
It must have been pushed through the bridge from upstream by the high strong
current after all spraying had been done. Remember, Brian and his group ran out of
insecticide a short distance above the bridge.

Ditto to the above further downstream

And more of the same!

All of these have not been touched by any spraying.

Another loavely patch.
And still more. All that has to be done to these is to loosen them from what ever
it is that is holding them up and let the current take them down to their death.

This one shows damage from spraying.

Assbout 1/2 of this one got sprayed.

Same here too. Also it may be that the kill zone is coming into play

Ditto again.

We are now below both concrete barriers. We believe the kill zone begins in the area
between the two barrier markers. This is only 10% of what was here.

A little further downstream, the color is changing, is this the beginning of the kill?

This little patch is below Maple Landing. It wasn’t here when Brian and his group sprayed.
If it had been here then it would be dead and nonexistent, not bright green.
We pulled this little patch off its hang up. We are sure it no longer exists now.

We turned around the large island here and paddled back upstream to our take out
at the first concrete barrier. We encountered this bright green healthy patch right away
on our right shore line. We are sure that it will be killed when the river returns to its
more normal level and salinity in this area.

Anther similar patch further upstream.

And still another.

We reached our takeout point at the first concrete barrier well ahead of our expected
arrival time. We had a great trip and most enjoyable paddle.

We are also now more convinced than ever that if we all coordinate our efforts we can get
this noxious, invasive, imported alligatorweed under our complete control this year.

Here are our recommendations on how to accomplish this.

We base these recommendations on the premise that it it is not there it cannot perform

its rapid growth there as it does not exist there!

We must take advantage of our natural winter kill of all growth above water and land.
This is our enemy’s weakest state of existence. This is when we should be launching our
strongest attacks.

(It is also a time when spraying is not practical because there is nothing above water to spray!)

This winter time activity is to loosen and free the floating alliagtorweed to be carried downsream
to salt water.

Our attack at this time should be based on three other natural forces we are blessed with.
These are winds and rains and the resulting increased volume and strength of the river current.

(Use of the winds is more important in the lower wide open portions of the river. It is very
importent not to be freeing snagged alligatorweed when the wind is blowing it back uspstream!)

This year, right now, we recommend we not wait for the first freezing kill. We say this because of
the spraying that has been done has reduced the very heavy mass of above water growth and it
has not had time to grow back yet.

Depending on the number of people we have we can break up into several groups. One could start at
Route 17 and work downstream. (The best access is to put in at the first brdge below 17 and paddle
up to it.)

In the process of freeing the alligatorweed we should remove as much as possible of what ever it was
that was holding it up to prevent future snags at the same spot.

The next group could start at the Railroad Bridge and begin working upstream. Another group downstream.

At this time of year each group should have a licensed spray person with them to spray what ever could not
be dislodged including whatever is found growing on land. These licensed spray people wil not be necesaary
during the winter.

With total coordination and cooperation of all and especially those with motor boats it would be entirely
possible to have this entire section of Southwest Creek in the main channels free of all alligatorweed before
the first frost.

The necessary tools are light garden rakes, light garden cultivators with prongs, clam rakes work good, and< br />grapple hooks on a rope are excellent. Even your paddle works good.

This a combination of using natures natural forses and chemical sprays to reach the goal we all are striving for.

Let’s make it work now!

Southwest Creek is a navigable stream State and Federal Laws make Navigable Waters “OURS”. Let’s take this
lovely stream back from this foreign invader who has taken it over and ruined our paddling, fishing and navigation
and much more.

This is being sent to all Stewards of Our Waterways, The New River Round Table, The New River Foundation,
White Oak-New River Keeper Alliance.The North Carolina Coastal Federation. North Carolina Wildlife,
The Tideland News, The Daily News, Coastal Carolina Canoe and Kayak Club, Coastal Carolina Kayakers,
Twin Rivers Paddle Club, Carolina Canoe Club, Onslw County Commissioners, City of Jacksonville,
Envronmental Management Division, Camp Lejeune, NC,

Elmer Eddy
Elmer, The White Oak River Trashman
Stewards of The White Oak River Basin
Stewards of Our Waterways
207 Spann Rd, Trenton, NC. 28585
910-389-4588 e-mail:
Please visit our website: http://www.whiteoakstewards.org/
“If no one litters, there will be no litter!”
Alligatorweed is worse than litter, it grows! IT IS A FOREIGN INVADER!


2009-09-01, Southwest Creek, Camp Lejeune, NC

2009-09-01 Southwest Creek, Camp Lejeune, NC.

Thanks to a bizarre combination of events we have this beautiful creek back again.
Not comletely but we paddled it today and had a most enjoyable paddle and saw new
channels we never could paddle before.

Come and take todays trip with us. Then paddle it yourself and enjoy it yourself as we did.

This is our put-in at the first brdge below Rte 17 on the Air Base.

All pictures are by Ed Gruca. This is a lovely wild flower. Who knows what it is?
Very little aliigatorweed up here. We moved all we could downstream. Some
we missed has grown and multiplied.

Nice forests line the river.

Which way are we going?
Marshmallows when we got to the marshes.
Godzilla, the alligator, is usually right around the corner but not today.
An osprey’s nest, some marshmallows and some alligatorweed.
At the railroad bridge already. The alligatorweed has been reduced about 90 %
in volume by both spraying and by high water and strong currents which picked
it up off the old submerged pilings and moved it on downstream.
It didn’t get is all! Can you help move this through the bridge so it can continue
on down to its death in salt water?
A little more left behind.
And still more.
Free paddling in this opening. That is Harry James of Jacksonville.
This is the largest patch left behind on the west side.
This is on the east side.
Because we could, everybody wanted to go down the smaller channel to the right
below the bridge. So we did.

Very pretty marshmallows.
This channel had been spayed too. We were amazed at how clear it was.
It got bigger fast.
type here -Neverforget911 9/6/09 7:01 PM

We took the cut through to Mill Run and went down that channel and found ourselves at Maple Landing.
We ate lunch here.

< /div>

Signs at Maple Landing. The bottom one is our sign made possible by The American
Canoe Association and LL Bean.
Todays group. L/R Harry James of Jacksonville, Scott Brown of Morehead City,
Jim Murray of Morehead City, Jim Neidermeyer of Hubert, Elmer Eddy from Jones
County, and our photographer from Emerald Isle, whom we have to thank for
these lovely pictures, Ed Gruca.
Maple Landing. Ed’s lunch box, just where he left it!
It got windy when we hit the wideopen mouth of Southwest Creek.
The marina was a welcome sight!.
He welcomed us in.
We very much enjoyed this paddle. We recommend it highly.

I cannot paddle this week. If any of you wish to do a tri of you own and want to
get it out to every one send me you plans and I will notify all. Thanks,

Elmer Eddy
Elmer, The White Oak River Trashman
Stewards of The White Oak River Basin
Waterway Stewards
207 Spann Road, Trenton, NC, 28585
910-389-4588 e-mail:
Please visit our website: http://www.whiteoakstewards.org/
“If no one litters, there will be no litter!”