>Neuse RIVERKEEPER® Foundation Names Mitchell Blake as Lower Neuse RIVERKEEPER®

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Mitchell Blake, Lower Neuse Riverkeeper

The Neuse RIVERKEEPER® Foundation today announced that R. Mitchell Blake has been named as the Lower Neuse RIVERKEEPER®, effective March 12, 2012. He will be working out of the New Bern office and can be contacted at (252) 637-7972 or mitch@neuseriver.org.

“The Neuse RIVERKEEPER® Foundation has provided advocacy, education and protection for the Neuse River and its citizens for over 32 years and I am confident that Mitch will bring a positive and strong voice for the Lower Neuse River Basin as we continue to fulfill our mission,” says George Matthis, Jr., Executive Director for the Neuse RIVERKEEPER® Foundation. “Mitch’s background in wildlife and fisheries programs and his overall knowledge of the Neuse River are major assets to the vitality of the Lower Neuse River Basin community. He understands the science behind environmental conditions in the river and he also knows the people in the community”.

Mitchell Blake has a wealth of experience dealing with eastern North Carolina water quality, fisheries and wildlife issues. His most recent work with the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Division of Marine Fisheries focused on data collection and assessment for the purpose of evaluating the environmental conditions, biological impacts of health and disease and impacts of coexisting species of finfish fisheries in the Neuse, Pamlico and Pungo Rivers and the Pamlico Sound. He worked closely with the DENR Division of Water Quality to relay information regarding evidence of pollutants obtained through water sampling, information concerning fish kills and data regarding disease within fish populations.

Prior to Mr. Blake’s employment with DENR, he worked with the North Carolina Waterfowl Association as the project leader for the Mallard Restoration and Research Program which required creating wildlife management plans and banding, releasing and tracking waterfowl to better understand waterfowl stocks and environmental influences and impacts. Mr. Blake was instrumental in communicating program work and outcomes to stakeholders and recruited volunteers and members to provide ongoing support for local chapters.

Mr. Blake holds an Associates of Applied Science in Fish and Wildlife Management and in Turf Grass Management from Wayne Community College. He also has a U.S. Coast Guard issued Captain’s License and has worked with and operated small businesses that are impacted by the condition of the Neuse River. He is a North Carolina native with a strong connection to the Neuse River basin and the communities of the Lower Neuse.

Established in 1980, The Neuse RIVERKEEPER® Foundation works to protect, restore and preserve the Neuse River basin through education, advocacy and enforcement for the communities that it serves.

Submitted by: Sherrie Starr for the Neuse RIVERKEEPER® Foundation, 1307 Country Club Rd., New Bern, NC, 252-637-7972

About New Bern Now
Editor-in-Chief, Wendy Card, founded New Bern Now in April 2009. There were a number of reasons she developed the website. While stationed in Washington DC, she had 30 days to transfer to Naval Hospital Cherry Point and didn’t know much about the area. She was frustrated because there wasn’t a central location on the Internet for information about New Bern. Wendy retired from the Navy in Oct 2007. When our economy dived, she was trying to find her way in life and decided to give back to the community by creating a website that provided a “One Stop, Information Shop” to help people find out what’s happening in our community along with creating a free business listing to help business owners who couldn’t afford to advertise.

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