Yadkin river keeper speaks at Kiwanis Club meeting

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 20, 2018

Yadkin River Keeper Brian Farnon was recently featured as the guest speaker at the Jerry Long YMCA. Farnon received his undergraduate degree in biology from Wake Forest University, and he then moved to Alaska where he was a field expert for 11 years. He returned to receive his graduate degree from Appalachian State, and he furthered his education by receiving his doctorate in biogeography from UNCG.
Farnon first started as the Yadkin water shed investigator, then became the acting river keeper in January. As a river keeper, he works with the International Water Keeper Alliance, which encompasses 50 countries. North Carolina has more river keepers than any other state, almost one for every river. The Yadkin River is the second largest river in the state, encompassing almost 7,200 square miles. Farnon’s job also includes litigation work, education and outreach programs, and agricultural waste dumping dangers/readings.
Agricultural waste is important to monitor due to chicken farms having unbalanced waste causing dangers from nitrogen, phosphorus and E coli. The state has guidelines for plants to be built to control the nitrogen overflow, but Farnon has to monitor the water to be sure readings are within the limits. The Yadkin also fills into High Rock Lake, so keeping an eye on contamination makes it helpful to the boaters and skiers.