Our mission is to protect, preserve, monitor and revitalize the health of the lands and waters of the greater Winyah Bay watershed.
Winyah Rivers Foundation was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization in January 2001. We are a grassroots organization of people from both North and South Carolina who are convinced that the preservation of our local rivers and their watersheds would best be served by hiring advocates to guard these waters from further harm.
In serving this mission, the Foundation seeks to ensure that the land and water uses in the watershed support a high quality of life for all human and natural uses. Clean water is a vital essential for a healthy human and wildlife habitat. The Foundation will engage in researching, teaching and promoting the use of preventive and restorative measures. It makes no sense to foul our waters and then have to clean them up. Future generations depend on our wise use of land and water.
Winyah Rivers Foundation services the following rivers in the great watershed that empties into Winyah Bay at Georgetown, South Carolina:
In 2002, Winyah Rivers Foundation sought and received a license from WATERKEEPER® ALLIANCE for the Waccamaw RIVERKEEPER® Program and has implemented education and advocacy programs focused on the Waccamaw River watershed in both North and South Carolina since then.
The original intent of Winyah Rivers Foundation was to establish a RIVERKEEPER® program on each of the rivers in the great watershed that empties into Winyah Bay at Georgetown, South Carolina. We are now looking for funding to support a Pee Dee RIVERKEEPER® Program to watch over the Pee Dee River from the South Carolina border to Winyah Bay. Upstream in North Carolina, the Yadkin RIVERKEEPER® watches over the Yadkin-Pee Dee River.
The Foundation is supported through membership, donations, fundraisers and grants. Join the Winyah Rivers Foundation now to help us preserve this valuable resource!
The Foundation is made up of a Board of Directors, comprising a President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer as well as members-at-large, that govern and oversee the activities of staff of the Waccamaw RIVERKEEPER® Program. Want to learn more? Click for Board Member Responsibilities. Click for Board Application.
Reg is a retired obstetrician-gynecologist. He received his undergraduate degree in biology from the University of the South. He is an active member of the Waccamaw Audubon Society and the Carolina Nature Photographers Association. He lives on the Waccamaw River near Conway and can be seen canoeing, boating and taking photographs around the watershed.
Doug has a passion for the Waccamaw River and has a long history and interest in protecting the watershed in North Carolina. He was involved in the organization in our early years before he was called to serve his country overseas. We are happy to have him back involved in our organization, bringing with him the passion and leadership necessary to support our mission and protect and restore the Waccamaw River. Effective January 2012, Doug took on the responsibilities of Vice President and is working hard to bring important issues to bear and engage the local community. An experienced paddler, Doug hopes one day to run a successful outfitting company and introduce more people to this wonderful resource and its stewardship.
Stay tuned for an updated bio.
Stay tuned for an updated bio.
Since he can remember, James has enjoyed canoeing and fishing the local rivers in Horry County. As a teenager, he convinced his parents to buy a canoe, which he subsequently used to take his family on extended paddling excursions. And although these same family members are wary of signing up for one of James’ canoe trips, he still believes paddling is the best way to see the local wildlife and hopefully find some adventure. James is an attorney at Battle, Vaught & Howe, P.A. in Conway.
Walt grew up far from any waterways amidst the corn fields of central Illinois. After obtaining his undergraduate degree in Biology from Southern Methodist University, and a MD from the University of Illinois at Chicago, he started his career and now works as an Urologist and resides on the Waccamaw River at Pawleys Island. An enthusiastic advocate for water quality and wildlife management, Walt spends his time hunting, fishing, and boating with his family on the River.
Richard is employed by Coastal Carolina University as a Research Vessel Captain as well as an instructor in the Marine Science Department teaching Seamanship and Navigation. Prior to working at CCU he owned and operated Island Queen Inc. which was a ninety passenger river boat that operated up and down the Waccamaw and its tributaries, and during that time also ran barges and tugboats in and out of the area for Pirrelli Cable Corp.
Stay tuned for an updated bio.
In both my personal and professional life, I remain committed to environmental awareness and protection. I am an avid kayaker (and now paddleboarder!) and have spent a great deal of time exploring the Waccamaw, Black, and Pee Dee Rivers, as well as Winyah Bay and North Inlet. I am passionate about water resources and the natural history that surrounds us in this beautiful area of aquatic abundance; however, with this awareness comes great responsibility toward the preservation of our local resources and quality of life. Needless to say, I am very pleased to serve on the Board for the Winyah Rivers Foundation.Note: In addition to serving on the Board of Directors, Dan also serves as a Technical Advisor to Winyah Rivers Foundation (see below).
Bob is an attorney in Pawley's Island practicing as Robert J. Moran, P.A. He has practiced in Georgetown County since 1978. He has served on the Boards of Georgetown County Visitor's Bureau, the Pawley's Island Litchfield Business Association, the Georgetown County Land Bank Commission, the Winyah Group of the Sierra Club, the Georgetown County Environmental Protection Society, and is a trust protector of the Frances P. Bunnelle Foundation.
Phil is a sixth generation native of Brunswick County and resides in the Hickman’s Crossroads community. He is the President of Norris, Kuske & Tunstall Consulting Engineers and is a registered Professional Engineer in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. He is active in the community and church and currently is the Vice-Chairman of the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners and the representative for District 1.
Mark moved to Myrtle Beach in 1983 from Charlotte, NC. He graduated from Appalachian State University with a degree in Business Management. Mark joined Allstate Insurance Company in 1987 and owned and managed an Allstate Agency from 1990 through 2007. After the sale of his business he worked with First Citizens Bank for two years. Mark joined FSA/Full Steam Ahead as a partner on January 1st of this year. Mark is married to Teri and they have five children and five grandchildren.
Steven is a resident of Murrells Inlet and his family has been part of this area since the 1900’s. He is heavily involved with the environmental movement and has over 24 years of experience in the regulation, management, design, and construction of projects in the southeast United States. Steve is founder and President of The EARTHWORKS Group, a multi-discipline consulting firm that provides engineering, architectural, environmental, surveying, structural, MEP, and construction management services.
Becky attended Austin Peay State University earning a B.S. in Biology and Chemistry in 1974. She earned her M.S. in Biology/ Botany at the University of South Carolina in 1990. She has taught in several sciences in public schools in Tennessee, Kentucky, S.C. and N.C. Becky currently teaches at Southeastern Community College in Whiteville, N.C., where she developed the Environmental Science Technical Program and the Agricultural Biotechnology Program. She is also the lead faculty for the Natural Resource Area on campus and is the keeper of the Nature Trail on campus. She and husband Randy have two sons. Her leisure time is spent kayaking the local rivers, attending environmental organization meetings, reading, botanical illustration, gardening, promoting native plants, and spending time with her family.
Leslie Wilson is a resident of Conway and has been involved with Winyah Rivers Foundation as a volunteer water quality monitor since 2006. Leslie and her family enjoy the Waccamaw River and Kingston Lake area, taking time to paddle and to clean up litter along the way. With her enthusiasm and love of all things nature, she is a welcome addition to our Board of Directors.
Richard earned a BA degree in General Biology from Vanderbilt University and Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Zoology from the University of Texas at Austin. He is currently Professor of Biology and Assistant Vice President of Grants and Sponsored Research at Coastal Carolina University where has been a member of the faculty since 1974. He is a founding member of the Waccamaw Audubon Society of which he currently is the Treasurer and Newsletter editor. He has also served as President and on the Board of Directors of that organization. He is the author of numerous scientific papers, chapters and books on fishes, aquatic biology and zoology.
The Winyah Rivers Foundation is most fortunate to have four well-known and respected scientists who are intimately familiar with the Waccamaw River.
Dr. Allen is a Research Professor in the Baruch Institute and Marine Science Program at the University of South Carolina. He has been Director of the Baruch Marine Field Laboratory–USC in Georgetown since 1978. He received his graduate degrees from Lehigh University (PA). Dr. Allen’s broad research interests are in the dynamics of estuarine and coastal systems. He has studied short- and long-term responses of estuaries to natural disturbances and has focused most of his field studies on fishes, shrimps, and zooplankton in the salt marshes and waterways of North Inlet and Winyah Bay. Promoting the role of scientific knowledge in coastal decision making and advancing the effectiveness of environmental education are among Dr. Allen’s top priorities. He is the past president of the Estuarine Research Federation, the primary international association of estuarine scientists.
Dr. Conner is a Forested Wetlands Ecologist and has worked in forested wetland systems for over 35 years. He has developed a worldwide reputation in the ecology of these systems. He has published over 100 journal articles and co-wrote and edited 2 textbooks entitled “Southern Forested Wetland Ecology and Management” and “ Ecology of Tidal Freshwater Forests of the Southeastern United States.” In addition to acting as a Technical Advisor for Winyah Rivers Foundation, he serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of Little Leaf Louisiana, an ecological restoration non-profit in Louisiana. In 2007 he was selected as a Fellow in the Society of Wetland Scientists in recognition of his contributions to the study of wetlands and his service to the organization.
Dr. Hitchcock is an Assistant Professor at Clemson University who hopes to soon be promoted to Associate Professor!. Stationed at the Belle W. Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science near Georgetown, he holds a research and extension (outreach) appointment. He is a licensed professional engineer in South Carolina. His research centers around natural resource preservation and restoration strategies with a specific emphasis on water quality and quantity. He is currently investigating ecological or “green” design solutions to adverse coastal water resource impacts from land conversion and urbanization. He also conducts rainwater harvesting, stormwater, and watershed education programs.
Dr. Libes is the founding director of CCU's Waccamaw Watershed Academy, located within the Burroughs & Chapin Center for Marine and Wetland Studies. She holds a PhD in chemical oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program in Oceanography and Ocean Engineering. She has been a member of the chemistry and marine science departments at Coastal Carolina University since 1983. As the director of the Waccamaw Watershed Academy, she engages in research, teaching and public outreach to meet regional needs for protecting water quality in the rivers and coastal waters of Horry and Georgetown counties. The Academy houses a state-certified environmental quality lab which supports regional needs for water quality assessment and monitoring including volunteer monitoring in the Waccamaw River and Murrells Inlet. She is also a founding member of the Coastal Waccamaw Stormwater Education Consortium whose mission is to help the SMS4s in the Myrtle Beach Urbanized Area meet NPDES Phase II Stormwater program requirements for public education and public involvement.
Dr. Riggs’ specific fields of research and teaching have included sedimentation, stratigraphy, coastal and marine geology of continental margins, environmental geology, sedimentary mineral deposits and economic geology. Most relevant to the Waccamaw River is his research on the origin, evolutionary development and dynamics of coastal plain riverine and pocosin wetland systems. Dr. Riggs is known throughout the Carolinas for his work on the Waccamaw. The report of his five-year study with Ames, Brant and Sager was published in September of 2000. It is entitled The Waccamaw Drainage System: Geology and Dynamics of a Coastal Wetland, Southeastern North Carolina.
Waccamaw RIVERKEEPER®, Christine Ellis | Center for Marine and Wetland Studies | Coastal Carolina University
P.O. Box 261954 | Conway, SC 29528-6054 | (843) 349-4007 | Riverkeeper@winyahrivers.org
Winyah Rivers Foundation is a U.S. registered 501(c)(3) tax-deductible nonprofit charity.