Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations

Eastern North Carolina Hog Facility. Photo Courtesy of Heather Jacobs/Pamlico-Tar River Foundation.

Eastern North Carolina Hog Facility. Photo Courtesy of Heather Jacobs/Pamlico-Tar River Foundation.

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, or CAFOs, have long been a significant problem in the Southeast. These facilities, where thousands or tens of thousands of animals are kept in close quarters, produce highly concentrated waste streams which, if not properly managed, can overload waterways with bacteria, nutrients, and other pollutants.

Cattle farm in Piedmont North Carolina. Photo Courtesy of Catawba Riverkeeper.

Cattle farm in Piedmont North Carolina. Photo Courtesy of Catawba Riverkeeper.

Through analysis of GIS data and other information, we work with our flight partners to identify, locate, and document potential problem CAFOs and CAFO-heavy areas. Using both enforcement and education, we seek to shut down existing violations of law but, even more importantly, prevent CAFO pollution before it becomes a problem.