PHOTO: Riley Lewis and Jan Farmer, CCRW Board Vice President 2022
As we wrap up the year, we want to highlight the joys of being close to the water. From rivers and streams to lakes and sounds, water has always been an important part of life along coastal North Carolina.
“I have been thinking about how lucky I am to be living by the coast and have access to so many resources provided by the water. Fresh seafood, fun water activities, and the natural environment is so important to me. I have always lived close to a coastal river system and can’t imagine not being able to hear the sound of flowing water just a short walk away.” – Riley, White Oak Waterkeeper
PHOTO: Riley Lewis, S. LEAH 2022
Your health and being on the water:
Water quality’s impact on human health has been observed for generations, and research continues to try and understand how being on, in, or by the water can be so good for your physical and mental wellbeing.
Being by the water, especially natural waters like rivers and oceans, has been shown to lower blood pressure, decrease stress, bring on relaxation, improve creativity, and bring about a general sense of happiness.
To those who have livelihoods directly associated with natural waters, good water quality brings additional benefits and peace of mind.
PHOTO: L. Rider, Gulf Steam/Atlantic Ocean, J. ANDRE 2021
“I was born and raised along the banks of coastal NC and feel lucky and proud to have lived by the sea my entire life. That pride comes with responsibility. The responsibility to protect all that I have enjoyed these many years.
One of the best perks of living by the sea is having the opportunity to experience life under the water. Free-diving and SCUBA diving provides another method of coastal exploration and can be great for your physical and mental health. Being under the water provides an escape from the chatter of modern life, while taking in the abundance of life and constant reminder of how important these ecosystems are to life in coastal NC.
Living near the water has its perks like fresh salty air, access to sandy beaches, fresh local coastal foods, and learning how to navigate the waters by motor, paddle, or sail. All of these perks are in jeopardy, without water quality protection.
One of the best things about living on the coast is being a part of the coastal community. I am grateful for this community that recognizes we are all responsible for protecting the quality of water and life here in our community environment.
– Lisa, Executive Director
PHOTO: L.Rider, Gulf Steam/Atlantic Ocean, J. ANDRE 2021
While being on, in, or by the water can be good for your mental and physical health, it is important for that water to be good quality.
As coastal areas are developed, it is important that the health and preservation of our natural waters Stress from water insecurity or impacts to livelihoods are always a threat but can be avoided with strong water monitoring and advocacy.
Reduced pollution in waterways is not only is good for you physically, but can ease any anxiety about your surroundings.