The Neuse River : A Vital Role Throughout Much Of The North Carolina

2175 Words Apr 18th, 2016 9 Pages
The Neuse River has played a vital role throughout much of the history of North Carolina. In recent decades however the river has seen degradation of its health and ecology via massive amounts of point and non-point source pollution. The result has been numerous events of eutrophication, resulting in the ecological “dead zones” found throughout the river. Notable contributors of this pollution have been industrial plants and agriculture, most notably power plants and hog farms. As a result, federal and state agencies have enacted strict regulations and water quality standards and procedures to monitor the tributaries, estuarine areas, and main stem of the greater Neuse River watershed.
The Neuse River, which means “peace” in the language
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Historically, the river has played a massive part in the local and regional economy of North Carolina and the southeast. It has boosted the economic output of inland NC via a route to the Atlantic Ocean. Towns and cities which historically depended completely upon the river still have deep cultural connections to the Neuse. The river has served as a major vein of transportation of both goods and people from the very start of North Carolinian history (Shoenbaum 1982). The Neuse River has been a source of food and water for millions of people and livestock. The Neuse River Basin serves as a large habitat location for many species with about 2,750 acres of prime nursery habitat and the Neuse itself houses multiple important fish populations that the fishing industry could not function without (North Carolina). However, with great use also came great misuse. As North Carolina industry and agriculture expanded during the Industrial Revolution of the 1800’s and continued to grow throughout the 1900’s and into the current era, the Neuse River has been subjected to a massive influx of pollution. One of the main causes of pollution was brought on by industry dumping waste into the river, hog farm and other agricultural runoff, and non-point source runoff from the millions of acres of developed land found in the Neuse’s watershed (Griffith 1999.) The culmination of decades of dumping led to multiple die offs caused by
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