Waccamaw Conference 2015: CLEAN (Community Learning and Environmental Awareness Now).
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!
Celebrate Our Rivers With Us
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!
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.
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.
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.
RIVERKEEPER® has hosted several river cleanup along with our Adopt-a-Landing partners. Thanks to everyone who participated!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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:
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 | 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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