New River Foundation

Restoring & Protecting
the New River/White Oak River Basin
since 1995



Situated within the White Oak River Basin, the New River begins and ends in Onslow County. It is said to be 40 miles long and ranges from two to five miles in width. Onslow County, located in Eastern North Carolina, is also home to Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base and New River Air Station.The White Oak River flows through wetlands in Onslow, Carteret, and Jones County. It is said that the White Oak River offers some of the finest blackwater fishing in Carolina ! The New River Foundation, Inc. is the leading grassroots advocacy organization restoring and protecting our rivers from polluters in Onslow County.

Our Mission Statement

"Through education and stewardship, the New River Foundation is dedicated to restoring and protecting the quality of the local public trust waters."

A response . . . A reaction . . . A plan to find solutions

On June 25th, 1995 over 25 million gallons of hog waste spilled into the New River in Onslow County, North Carolina. This environmental disaster awakened some citizens of Onslow County to the threat the hog induNew River Foundationstry had on their way of life. At the local level the citizens were faced with a contaminated river. The New River was placed off limits by state health authorities. Concerned citizens met to determine the course of action needed to resolve the river problems. The true state of the river was not fully known until the citizens became involved.

The group of citizens formed the New River Foundation. They came from all walks of life: home builders, realtors, active duty military, retirees, teachers, businesspersons, and homemakers. As more facts surfaced about the weak rules concerning the New River, the need for an ongoing action became abundantly obvious. The group of citizens started meeting in July of 1995. The purpose was to improve water quality, educate the public, seek legal remedies for polluters, and give the New River a voice to be heard. In June of 1997 New River Foundation was incorporated with a 501 (c ) (3) status. Tom Mattison emerged as the group leader and spokesperson for identifying the problems and improving water quality. Tom served as the New Riverkeeper for the foundation until his retirement in 2002.

In 2008 the New River Foundation Board of Directors revisited continuing as a member of the Waterkeeper Alliance that licensed the New Riverkeeper. The difficult decision was made that the New River Foundation would no longer sponsor a riverkeeper. New River Foundation would continue in partnerships with environmental campaigns with Waterkeepers when appropriate. New River Foundation would continue partnerships with environmental organizations having common goals to improve air and water quality.

New River Foundation funding comes from our membership, fundraising, and grants from organizations such as Z. Smith Reynolds. Special grants have been awarded from National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Boat US and the Environmental Enhancement Grants for specific projects. We are very fortunate to have local corporate support as well. Some of our donors choose not to be recognized, and we honor their requests to remain anonymous.

The New River Foundation has a policy of non-discrimination on the basis of race, color, age, national origin or physical or mental handicap for its members, clients, employees, and members of the governing body.”

"No one has the right to use America's rivers and America's waterways, that belong to all the people, as a sewer.  The banks of a river may belong to one man or one industry or one state, but the waters which flow between the banks should belong to all people."   -- President Lyndon B. Johnson, upon signing the Clean Water Act of 1965

News & Events

Volunteer & attend one of these exciting events!

  • Bunco Night Out! Tues June 5th @ Marina Cafe Tickets $25 each
  • Canoe/Kayak Race for the Outdoor Festival June 23rd
  • Earth & Surf Day July 7th
  • Eco Tours/Eco Cruises Week-end
  • Learn to Clam Day
  • New River Otters Welcome Summer
  • Palooza - Festival August 4th
  • Bream Tournament
  • 6th Annual Morris Landing Clean Up
  • Annual Oyster Roast

Volunteers Needed:
Restoration @ NE Creek
Eco Tour Hosts

If you are interested in helping with these programs please call or email us !!

Looking for Birthday or Father's Day Gift Ideas?

Why not give the gift of membership to a friend or loved one? This is the perfect gift for a friend or family member that you always struggle to figure out what to get them. What better way to benefit our river than the gift of keeping it clean and healthy!


Our rivers depend on you just as you depend on them. Add your voice to ours by renewing your membership, becoming a member, giving the gift of membership or donating to our work today!



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Copyright © 2010 New River Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 241 • Jacksonville NC 28541
910-937-0877 office • 910-989-1345 fax
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