The Neuse River flows for over 200 miles from just above the cities of Raleigh and Durham in the Piedmont southeastward through Smithfield, Goldsboro, and Kinston until it reaches the tidal waters just upstream of New Bern. At New Bern, the Neuse River broadens and changes from a free-flowing river to an estuary that flows into Pamlico Sound.
The Neuse River was named one of the most threatened rivers in the United States in 1995, 1996, and 1997. The Neuse River Basin also contains one of the fastest growing populations in the country. While a majority of water quality issues originate upstream, the Lower Neuse River ultimately receives the brunt of water quality problems.
The Coastal Land Trust understood that the river needed help if it was to make a comeback. In 1998, the land trust conserved its first tract of land along the lower Neuse. Turkey Quarter Island is a 1,456 acre preserve located in Craven County. Since that landmark acquisition, we have protected over 7,600 acres of land and 20 miles of riparian frontage along the Lower Neuse River.
The Coastal Land Trust will continue to protect riparian areas, farmland, and other unique landscapes along the lower Neuse. We have also spent a significant amount of effort to jumpstart conservation efforts in the mid-reaches of the Neuse River system.