We’re celebrating 20 years!

Saturday, January 30, 2021 is a special day for us. It marks our 20 year anniversary!

Our mission: to protect, preserve, monitor, and revitalize
the health of the lands and waters
of the greater Winyah Bay watershed

As we celebrate 20 years of protecting clean water, we remember important milestones in our history and celebrate the people who contributed to our success.

We are grateful for our founders whose vision created our mission and the work that our nonprofit would take on to protect our local lands and waters. Our staff, members, volunteers, and supporters continue to advance our mission and fervently work to address the issues that face our local rivers. 

The rich history and challenges overcome in 20 years reminds us of the value of every individual contribution made towards our goals. As we celebrate 20 years of river protection, please consider joining us as a supporting member and help us continue to advance our vision of clean water and healthy communities for the next 20 years!

Here’s a brief look back at our accomplishments. We will share more about the people and accomplishments during our year-long celebration.

January 30, 2001 – Winyah Rivers Foundation, Inc. was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit

2001 – our Waccamaw RIVERKEEPER┬« program was licensed by Waterkeeper Alliance and the following year our first Waccamaw Riverkeeper was hired

2002 – the Waccamaw Riverkeeper commenced regular litter cleanups on the Waccamaw River, inviting community members to participate

2003 – we formed an alliance with Coastal Carolina University and established our office there

2004 – our work to address pollution from river shacks culminated in a state law requiring temporary permitting and eventual removal; joined the Coastal Waccamaw Stormwater Education Consortium to educate and engage our community in stormwater pollution prevention

2005 – addressed issues with power line siting across the Black River, resulting in a settlement to benefit conservation in this watershed

2006 – the Waccamaw Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Program was launched in partnership with Coastal Carolina University’s Waccamaw Watershed Academy and our dedicated volunteers

2007 – successfully opposed the regional landfill proposed for siting in the Green Swamp in the NC portion of the Waccamaw watershed; opposed the proposed coal plant on the Great Pee Dee River ultimate ending in its cancellation in 2011

2008 – joined the Pee Dee Scenic River Advisory Council to develop the management plan for protecting the river and riverine corridor

2009 – launched the effort to establish the Waccamaw River Blue Trail to promote riverine conservation and recreation

2010 – established the Adopt-a-Landing program to engage the community in keeping our boat landings and river litter free

2011 – joined with Waterkeeper Alliance and our NC Waterkeeper colleagues in advocacy opposing pollution from industrial swine operations; expanded the Waccamaw Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Program upstream into North Carolina

2012 – got involved in advocacy with gold mining in the Lynches River watershed that led to funding for land conservation in this watershed

2013 – the SC portion of the Waccamaw River Blue Trail was designated a National Water Trail; successful negotiations led to Santee Cooper agreeing to clean up its coal ash at the former Grainger plant on the Waccamaw River in Conway

2014 – our work expanded to the Lumber River watershed to address pollution from coal ash and industrial swine/poultry operations in this watershed

2015 – acquired the 462 acre Rocky Point property on the Black River in Georgetown County to protect, manage and improve its assets

2016 – successfully negotiated for cleanup and removal of coal ash at the former Weatherspoon coal plant on the Lumber River

2017 – advocated against the risky and unnecessary Atlantic Coast Pipeline, eventually culminating in it being stopped in 2020

2018 – our Lumber RIVERKEEPER┬« program was licensed by Waterkeeper Alliance; advocated for the protection of the Black River from a limestone mining operation

2019 – established the Carolina Blue Stewards program for youth education and stewardship; held a very successful Waccamaw Conference, an annual public education event

2020 – our work on the Black River expanded in partnership with federal and state partners to improve conservation and protections; took legal actions to protect the Lumber River and the Sampit River

2021 – the best is yet to come!

Winyah Rivers Alliance

P.O. Box 554
Conway, SC 29528
843 .349 .4007

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