Local News

Path Of Pollution Continues To Flow Down Neuse River

Posted July 24, 2001 2:02 a.m. EDT

— Construction is booming in the Triangle, while fish are dying downstream.

The Neuse River links eastern North Carolina with Raleigh. Pollutants often trickle downstream to towns like Smithfield and Goldsboro, then Kinston and finally New Bern.

Tom Jones, keeper of the Neuse River, says he is becoming very worried because he is seeing hundreds of fish dying.

"Over the last several weeks, we've had hundreds of thousands of fish die in the Neuse. Algae blooms are all over the place," he says. "[It's] a case of pollutants that are building up all year long."

There have been at least seven fish kills in the Neuse River since May. More than 28,000 fish turned up dead last Thursday east of New Bern, and sediment runoff is seen as a contributing factor in the fish kills. In fact, sediment is the No. 1 pollutant in the state's water above human and hog waste.