Waccamaw Riverkeeper

serving the rivers in the Winyah Bay Watershed



Fall River Cleanup - Saturday, September 19th

We'll be hosting our annual fall cleanup as part of Beach Sweep River Sweep on Saturday, September 19th. For more information, click here.

Annual Data Conference for the Waccamaw Volunteer Monitoring Program - Thursday, October 8th

Our annual conference to discuss the results of our Waccamaw Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Program will take place on Thursday, October 8th from 9am to 12pm. Stay tuned for more information.

River Celebration - Sunday, October 18th

Our biggest fundraiser of the year will take place on Sunday, October 18th beginning at 5:30 pm. For more information, click here.

Purchase your tickets online and we'll hold them for you at the door the evening of the event.




Spring River Cleanup

On Saturday, April 18th, we hosted our annual spring cleanup on the Waccamaw River. Thanks to all who came out that day to help keep our wonderful Waccamaw clean and healthy!

2015 Hobnob at Hobcaw

We had a great turnout on Saturday March 14th at Hobcaw especially considering the threat of bad weather. We got a couple of good hours of warmth and sunshine and packed up just in time to miss the worst of the rain. Thank you to all who joined us and here are a few photos thanks to Ralph Preston.

Sawgrass at Hobnob


Some of the Board


Chatting it Up


Time with Friends

















































Waccamaw Conference 2015: CLEAN (Community Learning and Environmental Awareness Now).

For those who were unable to attend the conference, please see the presentations below:

Advancing Land Protection and Conservation Planning Along the Waccamaw River

Low Impact Development in Coastal South Carolina: New Opportunities, Guidance, and Tools

Winyah Basin: Source Water Protection and Key Partners

USGS Water Census Study: Developing Decision Support Tools for Future Water Allocation


The Waccamaw Conference of 2015 was a complete success! We would like to thank everyone who came and contributed to this event. The event took place Saturday January 31st from 8:30am-12:30pm at the HGTC Conference Center on Crabtree Lane (same location as 2013). Speakers included USGS, SC DNR, TNC, CCU Professors/Researchers, American Rivers, and WNWR. The 2015 cohost organization was Keep Horry County Beautiful. In an effort to "go green" and limit the amount of waste at the conference, we encouraged everyone to bring their own plates, silverware, etc. or to use the ones provided. We are delighted to say that this was also very successful!

For 2015 we hosted a rain barrel sale along with the conference. If you have ever been interested in getting a rain barrel (or more than one) then check out the great deal available through RainWater Solutions: http://www.rainbarrelprogram.org/riverkeeper.











Celebrate Waccamaw River Day - Saturday, November 8th

A good time was had by all Saturday November 8th at Pireway landing in North Carolina for Celebrate Waccamaw River Day. We had a good turnout and look forward to making this an annual event.

Thank you to the Environmental Action Club of Southeastern Community College, NC Coastal Land Trust, NC Wildlife Resources Commission, Grapefull Sisters Vineyard, Coastline Catering, The Adventure Company, Waccamaw Canoe and Kayak, and all who attended for making this event a success.We hope you will all join us next year!

Check out the flyer here.

Celebrate Our Rivers With Us














2014 RIVER CELEBRATION - a benefit for the Waccamaw RIVERKEEPER®

A wonderful time was  had by all who attended this year's event. Sunday was a perfect evening on the river and live music, delicious food and auction fun was enjoyed. Thank you to all who came out, all our wonderful sponsors, all those who donated items for the live and silent, and to the wonderful committee members and volunteers who make this event possible every year.































Proceeds from this event continue to help support the Waccamaw Riverkeeper and the programming of Winyah Rivers Foundation to keep our rivers clean.

















Thank you to Dilly Beans for catering, The Riverside Club for allowing us to use their space, our amazing musicians, and all of the others who helped to make this event a success!

















River Sweep 2014!





Riversweep 2014 was a HUGE success. Many thanks to ALL who came out and to those who helped with event setup, teardown, and food! We cleaned up 50 bags (1000 pounds) of trash and 20 bags (500 pounds) of recycling for a total of 1500 pounds (almost 1 ton) cleaned up.















But we didn't stop there!

We held a cleanup along the Waccamaw in North Carolina for the North Carolina Big Sweep on Saturday, October 4th from 9 am to 1 pm at Pireway Landing (where Hwy 904, aka Swamp Fox Road, crosses the river, near the intersection with Hwy 905).

Lunch was provided to volunteers and they had a great time on the river! A good time was had by all and we cleaned up a good amount of trash.



























Thank you to everyone who helps keep our river(s) clean.

2014 River Cruise and Wine Tasting

Waccamaw River Tours hosted a boat ride and wine tasting with wine provided by Duplin Winery on Friday October 3rd from 5-6:30pm. We met at Waccamaw River Tours at 8496 Enterprise Road, Myrtle Beach, SC 29588 and enjoyed a beautiful evening boat cruise. Thanks to Waccamaw River Tours, Duplin Winery and all who attended.

2014 Boat Ride Fundraiser

We enjoyed a lovely evening on the river in the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge even with a little rain. Thank you to Coastal Expeditions for providing the boat ride and thank you to the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge staff and volunteers for allowing access to the refuge and use of their facilities.

2014 Hob Nob Event at Hobcaw Barony

We had a good time at Hobnob this year and enjoyed a gorgeous evening at the Kimbel Shelter and Lodge. Thanks to all who joined us and especially all those who helped make the event possible.

2013 RIVER CELEBRATION - a benefit for the Waccamaw RIVERKEEPER®

Our annual River Celebration was held on Sunday, November 10th on the banks of the Waccamaw River at the Riverside Club in Conway.  The event included boat rides with Captain Jim's River Memories, live animal demonstrations with Jerry Walls of Carolina Safari, great food prepared by HGTC chef Eric Wagner, live music from Steady Hand String Band, Penny Heads Up and Sarah Wellons, probably the best silent auction on the Strand and, new this year, a live auction featuring original artwork from artists Dixie Dugan and Alex Powers, a wildgame supper for 10 people, a wine tasting for 8 people and a sea kayak with trailer. A great time was had by all!
We are grateful to our sponsors:

We are grateful to our donors:
Business Donors include Azalea Sands Golf Club, Atlantic Stage, Bass Pro Shop, Black River Outdoors, Burroughs & Chapin Art Museum, California Dreaming Restaurant and Bar, Colonial Charters Golf, Conway Feed & Garden, Conway Medical Center Wellness Center, Encore, Francis Beidler Audubon Forest, Franks Outback, Hackler Golf Course, Hers & His on Main, Howard Gallery, Legends Golf Course, Litchfield Country Club, Long Bay Symphony, Myrtle Beach Water Sports, Mr. Fish, Quigleys, Pepsi Bottling Ventures, Rice Museum, River Club Golf Course, Sand's Ocean Club, Spivey House Bed & Breakfast, Theatre of the Republic, Third Avenue Home, Willbrook Plantation Golf.
Individual donors include Amy Armstrong, Houston Bell, Elaine Bigelow, Dixie Dugan, Robert Cook, Phyllis Dunn, Arielle Fatuva, Dorothy Herron, Rosewithe Kenney, Richard and Dana Phillips, Alex Powers, Pete Pearce, Hal & Alice Vivian, Stella Roland, Tom Badgett, John Bittle, Sue Coley, Lynda Courtney, Forrest Daves, Floyd Gordon, Betty Moody, Susan McMillan, Bobby Smith, Kay & Clay Swenson, Rebecca Zdybel, Amy Calhoun, Judy Carroll, Tiffany Hamilton, Alanda McLain, Amanda Cox, Courtney Baggott, Melissa Stroud, Anna Williams, Cynthia Duke, Amber Durant.
(sincere apologies if we've missed recognizing you or your business)

We are grateful to all the folks who helped make the event such a success:
Chef Eric Wagner for the delicious food, supplemented with food prepared by our River Celebration committee volunteers, Jon Leithiser and his rosin potatoes, Captain Jim of River Memories for the boat rides on the Waccamaw, Jerry Walls of Carolina Safari for his amazing animals, Sarah Wellons, Steady Hand String Band and Penny Heads Up for their musical contributions, Sarah Wellons and our River Celebration committee volunteers for their donations to our libations that evening, our 2013 River Celebration volunteers (Tom Badgett, Lynda Courtney, Sudie Daves, Forrest Daves, Jane Leahy, Donald Pierman, Stella Roland, Martha Smith, Clay Swenson, Benjamin Thepaut, Hal Vivian, L.J. Witt, Jeanne Wood) and, of course, our 2013 River Celebration Committee (Carla Makela, Harriette Harvey, Judith Ellis, Leslie Wilson, Sam Hodges, Sarah Wellons, Valerie Moliterno, Pam Ellis, Beth Werkhoven, Kay Swenson, Kelly Davis and Reg Daves).
And, of course, we are grateful to all of our supporters without whom our program would not be successful!
Thanks to one and all!


Check out our Calendar for more information on all of our activities.

Note: Our nonprofit events are also advertised on SCIWAY, South Carolina's Information Highway.

For more information on our celebrations, click here to send the Riverkeeper an e-mail (Riverkeeper@winyahrivers.org) or call 843-349-4007.


Waccamaw River designated a National Water Trail!

National Water Trail

Great news!  The US Department of the Interior has recognized the Waccamaw River as a National Water Trail!

The new National Water Trails System (NWTS) serves to bring existing and newly identified water trails together into one cohesive national network of exemplary water trails. The Waccamaw River Blue Trail joins a network of water trails the public can explore and enjoy.

Benefits include national promotion and visibility, positive economic impact from increased tourism, increased opportunities for outdoor recreation, increased collaboration for water resource protections, and a positive contribution to public health and our quality of life.

Thanks to all our partners and supporters who helped make the Waccamaw River Blue Trail a reality and now designated a National Water Trail!

Learn more about the National Water Trail designation.



River Cleanups

RIVERKEEPER® has hosted several river cleanup along with our Adopt-a-Landing partners. Thanks to everyone who participated!

Earth Hour Paddle

March 23rd was a busy day.  It started early with the Riverkeeper at Conway's Equinox Art & Music Fest and the Assistant Riverkeeper at Brookgreen Garden's Digging It event.  Unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate but it did clear up that afternoon to enable us to join the Wellness Council for South Carolina at their Earth Hour event.

At 8:30 pm, for one hour, the electric lights were switched off at Riverfront Park while a few hardy paddlers joined us as we illuminated our kayaks with headlamps, luminaries, and glow sticks and completed our "kayak ballet", all in support of Earth House, the single largest symbolic mass participation event in the world, born out of a hope to mobilize people to take action on climate change and as a massive show of concern for the environment.

Thanks to our paddlers and to Kristi Falk with the Wellness Council for a fun evening!

2013 Waccamaw Conference

Held on Saturday, January 19th at the HGTC Grand Strand Conference Center in Myrtle Beach, this year's Waccamaw Conference was co-hosted by the Waccamaw RIVERKEEPER® and Winyah Master Naturalist Association. The conference theme, "The Only Constant is Change...an integrated look at coastal ecosystems", brought together speakers to help us learn more about our coastal ecosystems, evidence of past climate change, future predictions and how managing these changes will help to protect our natural resources. Speaker presentations are available below:

Conference Opening - Christine Ellis, Waccamaw Riverkeeper, and Peg Howell, Winyah Master Naturalist Association

Dr. Jenna C. Hill

Dr. Hill is Assistant Professor of Marine Science at Coastal Carolina University, Conway, SC.  She holds a Ph.D. in Earth Sciences from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego and a B.A. in Geology& Environmental Studies from Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH.  Her doctoral dissertation was:  “Continental margin architecture: Sea level and climate.” Her research Interests include Nearshore to outer continental shelf sedimentation, stratigraphy, tectonic processes, paleoclimate, relative sea level change, fluvial morphology and sedimentation, and onshore/offshore interactions.

Ice Scours off the Carolina Coast - Evidence of Past Climate Change

Dr. Susan M. Libes

Dr. Libes is a professor of marine science and chemistry at Coastal Carolina University, Conway, S.C.  She is the Founding Director of CCU’s Waccamaw Watershed Academy which houses a state-certified Environmental Quality Laboratory.  She is also a founding member of the Coastal Waccamaw Stormwater Education Consortium.  From 1993 to 2000, she served as the chair of CCU’s marine science department.  In 2003, she was named CCU’s Distinguished Teacher-Scholar.  Her current research activities focus on eutrophication and hypoxia in fresh and marine waters and the use of watershed planning to improve water quality.

Is Water Quality in the Waccamaw Region Changing?

Dr. Jessica C. Whitehead

Dr. Whitehead became the Regional Climate Extension Specialist for the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium and North Carolina Sea Grant in August 2008.  Her position is funded through a partnership between the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium, North Carolina Sea Grant, and the Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessment Center (CISA), NOAA’s RISA program at the University of South Carolina.  The purpose of her position is assist coastal users with integrating information about climate variability and change into their decision-making processes.  Her work ranges from giving talks on climate science for community groups to working with scientists to develop decision support tools for local level climate change risk and adaptation.  She holds a Ph.D. in Geography from the Pennsylvania State University (2009), where her dissertation focused on using mediated system dynamics modeling to build scenarios of small rural drinking water utilities' capacities to adapt to climate change.  She also holds a MS in Meteorology from Penn State (2003) and a BS in Physics from the College of Charleston (2000).

SC's Coastal Hazards: Past & Future

Ms. Goffinet McLaren

Ms. McLaren’s journey to Litchfield Beach and her topic for today began some time ago when she was born in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland.  After a career on the flight crew with Aer Lingus Irish International Airways, she eventually landed in Greenville, SC, where she married and raised a family. Goffinet has contributed in many ways to the communities in which she has lived.  In Greenville, she started a reading program for underserved children in Greenville, which was recognized in 1993 as the “volunteer program of the year” by the South Carolina Education Board.  She also served as a volunteer and fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.  Since retiring to Litchfield Beach in 2006, Goffinet has been: Researching the devastating effects of plastic debris in the ocean; Leading the SCUTE (South Carolina United Turtle Enthusiasts) team at Litchfield by the Sea, and developing the “Plastic- free- Pawleys” project to encourage local shopkeepers to discontinue their use of plastic shopping bags.

Age of Plastics

Ms. Karen Fuss

Ms. Fuss has served as the Environmental Educator for the Burroughs and Chapin Center for Marine and Wetland Studies at Coastal Carolina University since October 2005. Her major responsibilities include: Storm water and watershed education for municipal officials and staff, K-12th grade students and teachers, and local citizens; and Marine education and outreach for student and adult groups.Karen is also the Coordinator of the Coastal Waccamaw Stormwater Education Consortium. In this position, she is responsible for collaboration and facilitation among six core education providers who aid eight local municipalities in meeting federal stormwater requirements for public education, outreach and involvement. Karen earned a M.A. Ed. With Emphasis in Marine Science from the College of William and Mary in addition to a B.S. from William and Mary and an A.S. from Richard Bland College.

Encouraging Low Impact Development through Public Education, Outreach & Public Involvement

Ms. Christine Ellis

As the Waccamaw RIVERKEEPER®, Ms. Ellis is responsible for educating and advocating for the protection of the Waccamaw River watershed in both North and South Carolina.  In addition, as a part of the nonprofit organization, Winyah Rivers Foundation, she seeks to meet the Foundation’s mission to protect, preserve, monitor and revitalize the health of the lands and waters of the greater Winyah Bay watershed and, as such, watches over the other 4 rivers in our area.  As the sole employee of Winyah Rivers Foundation, she seeks to engage citizens in this grassroots, local effort and encourages everyone to support our mission by becoming a member, participating in our events and volunteering with our programs.  Ms. Ellis holds a BS in Zoology and an MS in Environmental Management, and has a lifelong passion for protecting our environment and our natural heritage.

Building Our Future Sustainably

Dr. Julinna Oxley

Dr. Julinna Oxley is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Coastal Carolina University. Her research focuses on issues in ethics and political philosophy, moral psychology, applied ethics, and feminism. Her book, Understanding Others: Empathy and Ethical Thought, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in early 2012.  She is also co-director of the Jackson Family Center for Ethics and Values’ Summer Ethics Academy, a program that teaches ethics to 6th graders.  She received her Ph.D. in Philosophy from Tulane University, an M.A. in Philosophy from Boston College, and a B.A. in Philosophy and English Literature from Wheaton College.

Three Views of Environmental Ethics

2012 River Celebration - A benefit for the Waccamaw RIVERKEEPER®

Held on the banks of the Waccamaw River in Conway, our 2012 River Celebration was a great success thanks to all of our sponsors, donors, volunteers and attendees! Monies raised will provide unrestricted funding for our education and advocacy programs to protect not only the Waccamaw River but all the rivers that drain into the Winyah Bay estuary.

Thanks to our sponsors:

River Celebration Sponsors




Waccamaw River Big Sweep - Saturday, October 6th

A great Big Sweep was had by all. Thanks to those of you who joined us, Lake Waccamaw State Park and Charles King at Pireway that day. Helping to keep the Waccamaw clean and healthy for our families and our future.

Waccamaw River Sweep - Saturday, September 15th

JThe Riverkeeper and friends participated in the Waccamaw River Sweep on Saturday, September 15th in cooperation with the South Carolina Beach Sweep River Sweep. We had 2nd graders and their parents from South Conway Elementary join us. We had student volunteers from Coastal Carolina University. We had friends new and old join us. Thanks to all our volunteers for helping to keep the Waccamaw clean and healthy for our families and our future.

The Moveable Feast, Friday, July 13th, Capt. Dave's Dockside - a benefit for Winyah Rivers Foundation's Waccamaw RIVERKEEPER® Program.

Thank you for joining the Riverkeeper and friends for the July 13th Moveable Feast with a special presentation by Charles Seabrook on his recent work entitled "The World of the Salt Marsh".  We especially appreciate our friend Linda Ketron and ArtWorks' support of our program.

"If The River Could Talk" paddle - Conway Blueways Paddle Trail, Saturday, June 30th, Downtown Conway on the Waccamaw River

We took to the water again, this time on Conway's Blueways Paddle Trail to enjoy the rich nature and history of Kingston Lake and Crabtree Swamp in Conway. Stay tuned for future "If The River Could Talk" paddles, held quarterly year round.

Amazon Riverboat Adventure, Thursday, June 28th, Coastal Carolina Univesrity's Burroughs & Chapin Center for Marine and Wetland Studies

Thank you to longtime volunteer Steve Berkowitz, retired Senior Instructor in Marine Science at Coastal Carolina University, for his interesting multi-media presentation, featuring photographs and short videos of his trip on the Upper Amazon River in Peru in November 2011.

3 Day/2Night Adventure Paddle "Wild on the Waccamaw" - Saturday, March 31st, to Monday, April 2nd, 2012

The Riverkeeper and Black River Outdoors set off on a 3 day, 2 night paddle and camping trip on the Waccamaw River. Departing from under the bridge in downtown Conway on Saturday, March 31st, we paddled downstream to Peachtree area on the Waccamaw where we enjoyed our first night under the stars. On Sunday, April 1st (no kidding!), we launched heading downstream along the Waccamaw, joining with the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, en route to the Wachesaw area in Murrells Inlet where we enjoyed our second night under the stars. Our 2nd day on the water ended with a special treat...dinner at the fun and friendly Hannah Banana's Sunshine Cabana at Wacca Wache Marina! Monday, April 2nd was our last day on the water as we caught the tide heading downstream and the end of our Wild on the Waccamaw adventure.

Stay tuned for next year's adventure!

River Reverie - Saturday, April 21st, 2012, 6-9pm, Lower River Warehouse, Conway

The Riverkeeper co-hosted River Reverie's Spring Showcase on Saturday, April 21st at the Lower River Warehouse on the Waccamaw River in historic downtown Conway. Created by Sarah Wellons, a native of Conway and a local artist, River Reverie was conceived as a forum in which people can savor the details of the town through various forms of artistic expression. The result is "A Night of River Reverie: 1880 and Beyond" hosted in The Burroughs Company's Lower River Warehouse, circa 1880.

For more information on River Reverie, visit the River Reverie website and/or watch the YouTube video commercial.

2012 Waccamaw Conference - Saturday, February 4th, 2012

Held at the Waccamaw Higher Education Center in Litchfield, the theme of the 2012 Waccamaw Conference was "Growing Green - River Friendly Solutions for Homeowners & Communities. Topics included:

2012 River Roast South - Saturday, February 4th, 2012

Held at Hobcaw Barony's Kimbel Lodge, members and supporters enjoyed an oyster roast and southern buffet items in support of the education and advocacy programs of Winyah Rivers Foundation.  Thanks to Litchfield Beach Fish House for supplying the food, to New South Brewing Company for the brew and to our members and supporters who attended.


Waccamaw RIVERKEEPER® | Center for Marine and Wetland Studies | Coastal Carolina University
P.O. Box 261954 (290 Allied Drive) | 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.

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The Foundation would like to thank Courtney Burge for the design of our website. We're delighted with her work and recommend her to you.