The Board of Winyah Rivers Foundation is pleased to announce the hiring of our new Waccamaw Riverkeeper®, Cara Schildtknecht, effective May 1st, 2017.


Ron Hartman, President

“On behalf of our Board of Directors, I thank Emma for her many contributions and am delighted to welcome Cara to Winyah Rivers, the RIVERKEEPER® Program and full-time advocacy work. She is a great addition to our organization and staff,” said Ron Hartman, WRF President. 

In her new position, Cara joins a strong team, including Christine Ellis, former Waccamaw Riverkeeper® and current Deputy Director and River Advocate for the North Carolina portion of our Winyah Bay Watershed, and April O’Leary, Programs Officer, leading many of our community engagement efforts such as Cleanup Our Local Waters and Riverkeeper® Adopt-a-Landing and Emma Boyer who will continue to serve our organization through May 31st, 2017 and provide volunteer and advisory support after that. Cara will also be supported by Lisa Swanger, who provides contracted services to WRF in her role as Coastal Waccamaw Watershed Education Program Coordinator with Coastal Carolina University.



Cara Schildtknecht, Waccamaw Riverkeeper®  


Cara recently graduated with a Master’s of Science in Coastal Marine and Wetland Studies from Coastal Carolina University (CCU). She received her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies and Bachelor of Arts in English at Shepherd University (SU) in Shepherdstown, WV. Cara has experience as a graduate assistant and teaching assistant at CCU and as a research assistant at SU. In addition, she served in the US Peace Corps in Ghana as a Natural Resource Advisor. Cara assumes the role that Emma Gerald Boyer has held since 2015. 

"I look forward to getting to know our members, supporters, partners and all of the people involved in our efforts in support of fishable, swimmable and drinkable water for our families and for our future. We hope you will be able to join us on May 17th for a tour of the Waccamaw River," said Cara Schildtknecht.




We invite you to meet Cara on a kayak tour of the Waccamaw River, launching from the Conway Marina at 9am on May 17th. Kayaks are available free of charge thanks to Gator Bait Adventure Tours, please visit their website at to reserve a kayak. Reservations must be submitted by May 5th and are on a first come, first served basis.

After the paddle, our staff will be stopping by Bonfire - A Smokin' Taqueria located at 110 Main Street in Conway at 12pm for lunch; and the public is welcome to join us.

Cara also invites you to stop by her office in the Burroughs and Chapin Center for Marine and Wetland Studies at Coastal Carolina University. She can be reached at and by telephone at (843) 349-4007