Thursday, May 28, 2009

RiverLink at Mountain Sports Festival

When: Friday May 29, Saturday May 30 and Sunday May 31

Carrier Park on Amboy Rd.

What: RiverLink will have an information booth and be conducting environmental education activities during the Mountain Sports festival dedicated to promoting the outdoor and adventure recreational activities in Asheville and Western North Carolina. For more details, full schedule of events including recreation, entertainment, clinics, demonstrations and more, please
click here.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED to help staff RiverLink info booth and assist with our fun, environmental education activities during the following times. We appreciate the time you can dedicate to us from 2 hours to 5 hours.
Friday May 29th 5-8pm
Saturday May 30th 10am-7pm
Sunday May 31st noon-6pm

Please contact Rachel Doebber, Volunteer Outreach Coordinator, at or 828-252-8474 ext. 118 to sign up to volunteer and include which date(s) and time(s) are best for you.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Paddlin' the river

Blog contributed by Carrie Allen, Operations Manager for RiverLink.

I was fortunate enough to be able to tag along with Hartwell Carson, RiverLink’s RiverKeeper and Palmyra Romeo, RiverLink’s Assistant RiverKeeper, along with quite a few capable & wonderful people on the first part of RiverLink’s annual two week paddling trip. It all started in Spruce Pine, NC on the North Toe River. RiverLink held the kickoff event, including The Wisemans, an awesome bluegrass band, hot dogs, raffles and good people.

We set off on the river in a group of about 30 people – unofficially called a "floatilla". It was not my first time on a river, but definitely my first time on an overnight camping trip. I had never canoed whitewater either, so I was a bit nervous! We did fabulous. I was blessed to be on the river with some strong boaters. Everyone helped each other & worked as a team, especially when one of us tipped over. After much rain, a few tipped boats & some soggy bread, we made a success of the first few days. We saw many different kinds of fish, a snake, and the rare and endangered Hellbender salamander.

I definitely plan on joining up with them again next year.

Dinner on the cheap Fri night @ an awesome restaurant. And the proceeds go to RiverLink. How can you pass it up?

Dine at 131 Main Restaurant with all proceeds benefiting RiverLink!

When: Friday May 29 lunch 11am-1:30pm and dinner 5pm-8:30pm

Where: 308 Thetford Street Asheville 28803 next to Regal Cinemas in Biltmore Town Square. From Long Shoals Rd, turn onto Schenk Pkway and turn left onto Thetford St. Follow Thetford past Regal Cinema with garage parking located next to 131 Main.

What: Asheville's newest restaurant, 131 Main, is graciously offering to donate all proceeds from their family and friends practice dining sessions to RiverLink. For just $5/person for lunch and $10/person for dinner, you can enjoy delicious appetizers, salads, entrees and desserts to help 131 Main prepare for their opening. Seating is limited and reservations are required. For reservations, please call 828-707-2508 between 2 and 4pm. Please note; parties are limited to 4 guests or less and excludes alcohol- cash bar will be available.

Thank you for supporting RiverLink!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Don't miss the opportunity to float the Nolichucky
with RiverLink's French Broad RiverKeeper

Join us in the fun!

The Asheville Planning & Zoning Commission meeting has been postponed.

You still have time to sign the petition. Voice your opinion. Let them know that it is NOT ok to harm our streams.

“The ordinance is moving forward and is scheduled to be heard by the Planning and Zoning commission on June 3rd at 4pm. {date changed to July 23} This will probably be the last time they monkey with it and therefore a critical time to make any improvements. The buffer proposal that is in the ordinance is still very convoluted and flawed. I believe it is too confusing to enforce and understand and therefore ripe for mistakes and misinterpretation. It also reduces the buffers across the City of Asheville. Considering the amount of growth we have had, the projected growth for the future and the decline of water quality in the French Broad, we think it is the wrong proposal to be moving forward.”

Hartwell Carson
French Broad RiverKeeper®

Sign the petition to save our streams:

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Want an easy way to save the French Broad?

It only takes a minute:

The amount of failing streams in the French Broad River Watershed has increased by 75% in the last two years and the City of Asheville is proposing rules that would reduce one of the most vital protections for the river. Stream side vegetation is currently protected to prevent harmful pollution from entering the river. The proposed rules would reduce those protections and leave the French Broad River vulnerable to further water quality decline.

There is a proposal under consideration by the City of Asheville to reduce stream side protections throughout Asheville. This change refers to changes of the stormwater ordinance buffer rules. The current ordinance specifies 30ft buffers on all mapped streams and the new rule would be very convoluted and confusing. It is based on slope, disturbed area, and stream type. It would be too confusing to enforce, too confusing for many developers to understand and ultimately a reduction for the protection of our streams.

With the water quality of streams getting worse throughout the state, many other communities are increasing the stream side protections in response to this threat. Communities like Hendersonville, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Charlotte, and dozens of other NC towns have 50ft vegetative setbacks, but Asheville is considering reducing their protections down to 8 and 10ft in many circumstances. This is the wrong proposal at the wrong time. Asheville should be leading way not heading in the other direction. See page 13-14 of the proposed stormwater ordinance for the new buffer chart.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Join us for Paddlin' the Nolichucky kickoff event!

Paddlin the Nolichucky is two week monitoring, education, and outreach trip. The trip will start at Riverside Park on the North Toe River in Spruce Pine, NC and finishing at the mouth of French Broad River, 140 miles down stream. This trip is design to monitor the water quality of the river, but to also educate the public about the challenges facing the river and highlight the river as a world class recreation destination.

The trip will feature a variety of activities for the public to join in the fun. From a camping trip to the RiverFest, make sure you don’t miss the fun!

May 23rd- 11-1pm -
Kick Off Celebration in Riverside Park, Spruce Pine, NC
The event will feature music, speakers, grilled food, raffle, and boating on the N. Toe River. Bring your own boat or rent one in the park.

May 23rd-25th
Paddling/camping trip from Spruce Pine, NC to Loafers Glory.
Sign up to join the Riverkeeper for a 1 day 1 night camping trip or a 2 day 2 night trip down 19 miles of the N. Toe and Nolichucky River. Bring your own boat and gear and get ready for an exciting two or one day paddle trip. RSVP is requested

May 26th – Rafting/paddling/Film Festival along the Nolichucky Gorge.
Bring your own boat or jump in a raft for an exciting ride down class II-IV rapids. Hang around that night for food a paddling film festival at NOC on the banks of the Nolichucky. Films will start at dark and feature kayaking films from rapid transit video along with additional environmental films.

May 30th – 10-6pm-Riverfest in Davy Crockett State Park near Greenville, TN.
A huge variety of demonstration, including catching fish and bugs in the river, making rain barrels, food, vendors, and fun!

June 2nd - 4:30 - 6pm -
Rain Barrel constructon workshop in Greenville, TN.
Don't you wish you could keep these spring rains around for the summer? By learning to build a rain barrel and taking home your very own, you can. A rain barrel captures rain runoff from your roof and can then be used to water your garden, flowers, or lawn. $60 gets you a rain barrel and the knowledge to build others. This a great way to also help the drought. The workshop will held at Ace Hardware (click for a map) )at 1023 W. Main Street. RSVP to sign up and pay.

June 6th - 8am- Rankin Bottoms Wildlife and Bird Tour
The French Broad and the Nolichucky River come together to form Douglas Lake, and Rankin Bottoms is a skinny peninsula that sticks its nose right into the middle of things. It is the best example of river bottomland in East Tennessee. Fish get trapped here, and waders, ospreys and eagles have a fine old time. It is one of the best birding areas in the state. Join a naturalist for a guided tour of this beautiful wildlife habitat. RSVP to sign up and for directions.

Stay tuned for much more information! or contact the French Broad Riverkeeper at 828-252-8474 ext. 114 or at