Jacksonville, Onslow Co. working to clean up New River

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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – An effort is underway in Onslow County to help keep the New River clean.

It’s currently polluted by marine debris.

The city and the county are now working together to end the pollution.

It’s a long process to clean up what was once an illegal dumping ground.

Looking at it now, you wouldn’t know the area was once filled with tires and trash.

Jacksonville river restoration crews began an extensive rehabilitation process to clean up the water. Part of that process includes installing oyster reefs and aeration devices to put oxygen back into the deprived water.

“Over time, as the water column cleaned up, we had to add more oxygen,” explained Pat Donovan-Potts, Jacksonville Stormwater Manager. “And we did that with the aeration units. Those units will actually put out about 200 gallons per second of highly oxygenated water and what we did is we shot that straight down to the bottom of the river so that the current would reoxygenate the bottom.”

That allows the marine life to flourish. It’s good news for fishermen and residents alike.

While the New River is no longer used for drinking water, it remains a major source of recreation and revenue for the county.

Debris clean-up is an ongoing process.

Next week, volunteers and crews will be back out here on the river for a major clean-up process of the marsh and reefs.

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