08/15/08 — Upper Neuse Riverkeeper resigns

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Upper Neuse Riverkeeper resigns

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on August 15, 2008 1:36 PM

Dean Naujoks, the Upper Neuse Riverkeeper, announced last week that he has resigned his position effective Aug. 1, according to a letter released on the Neuse River Foundation's Web site.

The Neuse Riverkeeper program, which has been in existence for the last 15 years, works to monitor and advocate for a clean river basin, which runs from Falls Lake in Raleigh to New Bern.

Naujoks held the position for seven years.

In his letter, he urged residents and local governments in the basin -- he was tasked with monitoring the stretch from Raleigh to Goldsboro -- to "understand there are limits to growth," especially in light of the recent droughts.

"It has been an honor to serve as your Upper Neuse Riverkeeper, but it is time for someone else to serve as the voice for the river. ... While I am very proud of the many successes we have had over the years, I want to emphasize that a tremendous amount of work needs to be done to ensure future generations have clean water," he wrote. "The Neuse River Basin is one of the fastest growing river basins in the nation. Increasing population growth combined with poor land-use practices will continue to degrade our water resources."

A follow-up letter from foundation board president Dave McCracken explained that Naujoks resigned to pursue other opportunities.

"Dean has been known for his passion and commitment to water quality issues and has been a strong advocate for the Neuse River," he wrote. "We wish Dean well as he accepts new challenges."

The foundation is now searching for a replacement. Details on the job description and application information can be found on the group's Web site, www.neuseriver.org.

Elaine Whitford, director of development and communications for the foundation, explained that they are looking for somebody who has "a knowledge of the science and issues affecting water quality" and who has "good advocacy skills."

"We'd like to get somebody in as soon as possible, but we want to make sure it's the right person, so however long that takes, though we hope it's sooner rather than later," she said.