Environmental Issues

Environmental Issues

hand holding world half blue green and half red brown


The Environment Is In Our Hands

Team Leaders

Leona Whichard and Nita Dukes. Contact Leona Whichard or Nita Dukes for more information.


Check the Events Calendar for upcoming meetings and information


  • Nov. 2021: PFAS drew wide media coverage in NC in June 20217 when drinking water wells in New Hanover and Brunswick counties were found to be contaminated with a new type of PFAS chemical known as "GenX". Not long after, researchers at Duke University and NC State University formed a team to study PFAS in the NC Piedmont area. Their current study seeks to understand sources of PFAS to the Haw River, its tributaries, Jordan Lake, and to evaluate exposure and health risks in local communities. Read more about their study and their preliminary results PFAS in the Haw River and Pittsboro.
  • Jan. 10, 2020: House Voted to Regulate PFAS. NPR news release. Includes detail information on what FFAS' are and why they are important to regulate.

List of Environmental Organization Resources and Contact information

Federal Programs

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) EPA develops and enforces regulations that span many environmental topics, from acid rain reduction to wetlands restoration. Search the website for regulatory information by topic. EPA has ten Regional Offices, each of which is responsible for several states and territories. N.C. is in EPA Region 4 (Southeast) along with AL, FL, GA, KY, MI, SC and TN. The Region 4 office is located in Atlanta.Web page for EPA in NC
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Download the FEMA app to get more information about preparing for a flood. Find Emergency Safety Tips under "Prepare"

NC Programs

  • NC Department of Environmental Quality (NC DEQ). DEQ is the lead stewardship agency for the protection of North Carolina's environmental resources. Chatham, Durham and Orange Counties are in a region that includes Wake, Lee, Johnston, Wilson, Edgecombe, Nash, Franklin, Person, Granville, Vance, Warren, Halifax, Northampton. North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NC DEQ) launched this new website in 2019. The website aims to be an excellent useful resource of accurate, understandable and interesting information concerning North Carolina wetlands.


  • Clean Water Education Partnership (CWEP)  Mission: CWEP aims to protect North Carolina's waterways from stormwater pollution through public education and outreach. CWEP is a collaborative effort administered by Triangle J Council of Governments (TJCOG). It facilitates cooperation between local governments, state agencies, and nonprofit organizations to protect water quality in the Tar-Pamlico, Neuse, and Cape Fear River Basins. Members include Chatham, Durham and Orange Counties. Municipalities include Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Durham, Hillsborough, and Pittsboro.

Local Programs

  • Town of Chapel Hill Stormwater Management . Utility Advisory Board, Chair Pamela Schultz. Town of Chapel Hill stormwater best management practices (BMP's) combine quality engineering, wise planning, acceptable maintenance practices and public education to achieve cleaner water in streams, lakes, oceans, and drinking water reservoirs.

Nonprofit Programs

  • Food & Environment Reporting Network (FERN). Mission: FERN is the first and only independent, nonprofit news organization that produces in-depth and investigative journalism in the critically under reported areas of food, agriculture, and environmental health. Through partnerships with local and national mainstream media outlets, we seek to tell stories that will inspire, inform, and have lasting impact.
  • Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC). SELC is a non-profit supported by individuals, families and foundations. SELC is focused exclusively on the people and places of the South: AL, GA, NC, SC, TN, VA. One of the SELC offices is in Chapel Hill, NC. The heart of the SELC's mission is ensuring a healthy environment for all the people in the region. The SELC programs encompass clean energy and air, water, forests, the coast and wetlands, transportation, land-use and communities, and wildlife and special places.
  • Duke Nicholas School of the Environment.  450 Research Drive, Durham, NC 27708 A secondary coastal facility, Duke University Marine Laboratory, is maintained in Beaufort, NC. The three research divisions are: 1. Earth and Ocean Sciences, 2. Environmental Sciences and Policy, and 3. Marine Science and Conservation.
  • Duke University Environmental Law and Policy Clinic, Duke University School of Law Co-Directors: Ryker Longest and Michelle Nowlin. "Blending science and law to pursue environmental justice." Contact: Nancy Lauer, nancy.lauer [at] law.duke.edu.
  • Carolina Wetlands Association. Rick Savage, President, 919-412-9754, rick.savage [at] carolinawetlands.org "Promoting wetlands through science-based programs, education, and advocacy." Survey of Wetland Research conducted in North and South Carolina.
  • Water Keeper Alliance. Email info [at] waterkeeper.org. Waterkeeper Alliance unites more than 300 Waterkeeper Organizations and Affiliates that are on the front lines of the global water crisis.
  • Cape Fear River Assembly (CFRA) Dr. Tom Hoban, Executive Director: Email cfraexec [at] gmail.com. The purpose of the CFRA is maintaining and improving the quality of life in the Cape Fear River Basin.
  • Haw River Assembly (HRA). Emily Sutton, Haw Riverkeeper, Email: emily [at] hawriver.org. Haw River Assembly protects the Haw River Watershed. This includes nine hundred and twenty miles along 110 miles of the river, and 14,000 acres of Jordan Lake, and the plants, animals and people who depend on the river.
  • Friends of Bolin Creek (FOBC). Email: info [at] bolincreek.org. "Protecting our Bolin Creek Watershed." Bolin Creek is situated on the north of Chapel Hill and feeds into Jordan Lake. It is classified as impaired, meaning that it does not meet the standards of our state for drinkable, fishable waters.
  • Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Since 1970 NRDC has worked to ensure the rights of all people to clean air, clean water, and healthy communities. Issues include climate change, neonic pesticides (Bayer), courtroom battles against President Trump, and defending the environment on all fronts.
  • NC Conservation Network. Brittany Iery, Online Organizer: Email brittany [at] ncconservationnetwork.org. The NC Conservation Network supports, trains, and coordinates diverse groups and directly advocates to achieve equitable and sustainable solutions for our environment. Goals include providing updates and environmental news to NC environmental groups. The League of Women Voters North Carolina is an affiliate.
  • NC Interfaith Power & Light (NCIPL). Sarah Ogletree, NCIPL Program Coordinator, Email: programs [at] ncipl.org. NC Interfaith Power & Light is a program of the North Carolina Council of Churches. NCIPL connects the faith voice of North Carolina around climate change, encouraging mitigation of the effects and resilient communities through its programs and engaging in the public policy process by advocacy with compassion.
  • NC WARN. PO Box 61051, Durham, NC 27715. Building People Power for Climate & Energy Justice: achieving an economical clean energy future. North Carolina can replace all fossil fuels used for electricity by 2030, and half by 2025.
  • Environment North Carolina.19 W. Hargett St., Ste. 405, Raleigh, NC 27601 Drew Ball, State Director. A citizen-based environmental advocacy organization and a project of Environment America.
  • Union of Concerned Scientists. Kenneth Kimmell, President. "Science for a healthy planet and safer world." Issues: Clean Energy, Clean Vehicles, Food & Agriculture, Global Warming, Nuclear Power, Nuclear Weapons.
  • Energy Justice NC Coalition, (ejnc [at] appvoices.org). Coalition members include: 350 Triangle, Alliance for Climate Education, Alliance for Energy Democracy, Appalachian Voices, Center for Biological Diversity, Concerned Citizens of Maxton, Down East Coal Ash Coalition, Friends of the Earth, NC Climate Justice Collective, NC Environmental Justice Network, NC WARN, Protecting Progress in Durham, Rachel Carson Council, Red Tailed Hawk Collective
  • Don't Waste Durham. This is an entirely volunteer-run operation that creates solutions that prevent trash. "We accomplish a ton when everyone pitches in a little." Programs include Green to-Go, Sustainable Food Truck Certification Program; and Reducing Waste in Durham Schools.
  • The Climate Reality Project, Orange County NC, Group Chair Kim Piracci, Email piraccik [at] gmail.com; phone 919-260-3686. The Climate Reality Project, Al Gore, Founder (2006) and Chairman. The mission is to catalyze a global solution to the climate crisis by making urgent action a necessity across every level of society. There are five groups in the Triangle: Campus Corps groups at UNC Chapel Hill, NC State University and North Carolina Central University; active chapters are Orange County, NC, and The Triangle, NC. A chapter is organizing in Durham, NC.