Protecting quality of water and quality of life in Coastal North Carolina
💧Pure Farms, Pure Water Program Update💧
Pure Farms, Pure Waters
The past few weeks, Coastal Carolina Riverwatch has been highlighting the Pure Farms, Pure Waters campaign. Pure Farms Pure Waters is a Waterkeeper Alliance program calling attention to the destructive practices of industrial animal agriculture. Coastal Carolina Riverwatch participates in this program locally, in the New River and White Oak River watersheds. You may read more in depth about the program, HERE.
We Appreciate Small Farmers Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) have negative impacts on water quality, environment, and public health. These facilities hold thousands of animals in very confined spaces. NC is number two in the nation for swine production and number three in poultry production. With massive amounts of animals, comes massive amounts of unmanageable waste. This waste pollutes our water, air, and soils with fecal matter, bacteria, nutrient overloads, hormones, and heavy metals. This can result in algal blooms, fish kills, noxious odors, and health impacts in surrounding communities. These impacts disproportionately affect communities of color and/or low income.
Though these are huge problems to address, one way we can take action is to support the small sustainable farmers that the CAFO industry threatens.
We envision collaborative alternatives, working with local farmers to protect our community and natural resources. Building relationships with our food providers ensures the transparency we need to make the best choices for our health, environment, and local economy. We appreciate our small farmers and the many benefits of choosing local.
Benefits of local farms:
Animal waste can be managed more effectively.
Reduces greenhouse gas emissions from food transport and long term refrigeration.
Produce is less likely to come wrapped in single-use plastic.
Preserves genetic diversity of crops and livestock.
Supports our local economy, jobs, and our neighbors.
Local food can even be more nutritious as it is harvested at peak freshness.
Small farms can be more equitable. Industrial agriculture operations are often located in communities that are predominantly Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and/or low income, contributing to environmental injustices.
Many small farmers take great care to be good stewards of our environment and communities. Check out our #FarmFriday series on our social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) where we highlight local farmers and their sustainable practices.