Meet the Staff







Emma Boyer, Waccamaw Riverkeeper

Emma Gerald Boyer assumed her role as the Waccamaw Riverkeeper with Winyah Rivers Foundation in May 2015. She lives in Georgetown, SC, blocks from the Winyah Bay with her husband Gary, their new baby girl Iris, cat Anderson Cooper, and dog Flounder and is busy keeping an eye on everything upstream. Emma graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 2005 with a Bachelor's Degree in Biology and from George Mason University with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science and Policy in December 2014. Between Bachelor's and Master's degrees, she participated in various coastal, wetland, and avian related research and environmental education projects in South Carolina, in the Gulf of Mexico (on the Mississippi Canyon oil spill) , in the Southwest, and in the greater Washington D.C. area. As a South Carolina Lowcountry native she is glad to be working in and for a place that she has always called home no matter where she has lived. As the Waccamaw Riverkeeper her enthusiasm for research, education, and community involvement all come into play with the various monitoring, public education and advocacy programs run by the organization and its partners.   

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Christine Ellis, Deputy Director / River Advocate

Christine joined Winyah Rivers Foundation as the Waccamaw Riverkeeper in August 2006, replacing Hampton Shuping, Jr. who had served since June 2002. She led the organization's education and advocacy efforts until January 2014 when she was succeeded by Paula Reidhaar as Waccamaw Riverkeeper. At that time, she took on the role of River Advocate within the organization, focusing on education and advocacy in the North Carolina portion of our Winyah Bay Watershed, in the Waccamaw, Lumber and Little Pee Dee watersheds. In 2015, Christine's role was expanded to serve as Deputy Director of Winyah Rivers Foundation and help the Riverkeeper meet our organization's mission. Much work remains to be done and we must continue to keep a vigilant eye on our wonderful rivers and their riches in order to protect clean water and healthy communities.


Lisa Swanger, Coastal Waccamaw Watershed Education Programs Coordinator

Lisa serves a joint position as Coordinator of the Coastal Waccamaw Stormwater Education Consortium and as an environmental educator for the RIVERKEEPER® Program. She supports our education and outreach efforts including planning river cleanups, the Waccamaw Conference, the photo contest and lots more. Lisa has a Master’s Degree in Marine Resource Management from Oregon State University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Sociology from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys camping, hiking and spending time with her adorable dog, Wyatt. She is a great asset to our organization.






April O'Leary, Programs Officer

April is a wash-a-shore from Cape Cod, MA currently living in beautiful Conway.  She is the proud wife of a Captain Fireman and together they have two beautiful children.  April has a Bachelor's of Arts degree in Psychology from Bay Path University and has over 20 years working in human services.  Most of her experience entails non-profit management working with underserved populations. April has a vast amount of experience in building important community partnerships, assisting in prevention and education with a focus on future sustainability.  April has been a volunteer supporting children and families who are affected by ALS/ Lou Gehrig’s disease organizations for almost 19 years.  April and her family foster for Little Paws Dachshund Rescue and in her free time she enjoys being outdoors with her family. 


Riverkeeper Intern

Because of our close relationship with Coastal Carolina University and the location of our office at the Burroughs and Chapin Center for Marine and Wetland Studies, we welcome college students to intern with us and to assist in implementing our mission. We are happy to help train the next generation of conservation leaders!


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