White Oak-New Riverkeeper


Tom Mattison
(252) 670-1413

The New River is the site of several environmentally damaging hog-waste spills due to the high concentration of large hog farms in North Carolina, which is the second highest hog producing state. North Carolina’s 10 million hogs produce 40 million gallons of manure each day. In Duplin County alone, 2.2 million hogs produce twice as much untreated manure as the sewage from the New York City metro area. The manure from these farms are kept in open lagoons, which are prone to bursts during heavy rainfall.The White Oak River is a blackwater river, approximately 40 mi (64 km) long, on the coastal plain of southeast North Carolina. The White Oak River runs through a variety of habitats including swamps, hardwood forests, and salt marsh flats. A wide variety of wildlife can be found in and around the river and its smaller river feeders. These creeks provide safe havens for many small animals such as, fish, snakes, frogs and many more animal as well as plant life. Along the river, there are reports of bald cypress trees over one thousand years of age. Many alligators can be found along the river.

Tom Mattison has been an advocate for environmental issues his entire adult life. After a twenty year career as a decorated Marine, Tom built and has managed the Brookwood Subdivision in Onslo County, North Carolina. His avid interest in the environment brought him to a career in wastewater management. Over the last two decades, Tom has been actively involved in community issues, especially as they relate to the preservation of the environment and its waterways. He is a Certified Stormwater and Wastewater Inspector, and as a member of the Coast Guard Auxillary served as Flotilla Commander.His work sharpened his concern for environmental issues and in 1996, he became a founding Board Member of the New River Foundation. His work with the Foundation led to the founding of the White Oak New River Alliance, which is a Waterkeeper Alliance licensed program.


181 Woodbrook Drive
Midway Park, North Carolina 28544