Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act

The 50th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act is October 18, 2022. The Clean Water Act is a federal policy to prevent, reduce, and eliminate pollution in our waterways. Since 1972, the Act has restricted pollution entering our waterways to ensure fishable, swimmable, and drinkable water. After 50 years, we have much to celebrate. But we will also continue to fight to protect clean water in our watershed for another 50 years and beyond! We hope you will join us in celebrating this landmark event in Clean Water history!

As we count down to the anniversary over the 5 months preceding the 50th Anniversary we will be hosting events throughout the greater Winyah Bay watershed  including paddles, cleanups, and more! We will also be hosting interactive competitions with our 5250ACTions Challenge, Photo Contest, and more!

Be sure to stay tuned for upcoming events and information on how you can get involved in protecting clean water! 

Activities & Events

5250 Photo Contest

5250 Bacteria Blitz

5250ACTions Challenge

5250 BioBlitz

5250 Photo Contest

Deadline for Entry Extended to Friday, October 14th at 11:59 PM!

Enter here by 10.14.22 at 11:59 PM>>

We invite you to participate in our photo contest and celebrate our fishable, swimmable, drinkable rivers. The contest is open for submission through midnight on September 30th. Winners of the photo contest will be announced and presented with awards at our River Celebration on Saturday, October 22nd at the Riverside Club in Conway. Winners will win prizes including a print of their photograph which will be part of a traveling local exhibit following the competition!

Our categories for the 5250 Photo Contest reflect the importance of the Clean Water Act to our local watersheds. We invite local photographers to submit photos capturing how the Clean Water Act has protected the rivers of the greater Winyah Bay watershed in the categories of:

FISHABLE – Photos should capture how our rivers provide for everyone. Photos of fishing, wildlife, and other interpretations are welcome! 

SWIMMABLE – Photos should capture how we use our rivers for recreation. Photos of people enjoying the river and of our river landings are welcome! 

DRINKABLE – Photos should capture the splendor of our surface waters. Photos of scenic landscapes – or waterscapes – are welcome! 

GEORGETOWN COUNTY – Photos should demonstrate the water resources and culture of Georgetown County. Photos from throughout the county are welcome!

YOUTH – Photos should be taken by children and young adults under age 18. Photos for any category are welcome!

Rules for Entering:

1. The contest is open to everyone. Emphasis in judging will be given to photographs that highlight the focus of the Clean Water Act to protect fishable, swimmable, drinkable water in the greater Winyah Bay watershed. 

2. Each contestant may enter as many photographs as desired. Entry fee is $11.00 per photograph.

3. Entry Categories are Fishable, Swimmable, Drinkable, Georgetown County, and Youth.

4. The photographs must be taken in North or South Carolina. Photos submitted for the Georgetown County category must be taken in Georgetown County, SC.

5. Each contestant agrees to allow Winyah Rivers Alliance, and its sponsors, to use their entries without compensation to promote our vision of fishable, swimmable, drinkable water for all communities. Use may include exhibition, calendar, and fundraising. All entrants will retain the right to their work.

6. To enter, go to No need to resize your image; the website will resize it to fit. Should your image win, a TIFF or PSD file at 300 PPI must be made available for printing purposes.

7. Winners will be contacted prior to and announced at our River Celebration fundraiser on Saturday, October 22nd at the Riverside Club in Conway. All participants will receive discounted tickets and winners will receive free tickets to the event.

8. Winning photographs will be displayed at various locations. Winners will receive their photograph at the conclusion of the tour.

9. The following awards will be presented: Best of Show ($150), 1st Place in each category ($100), 2nd Place in each category, 3rd Place in each category. Winners are eligible for only one prize.

10. All entries must be received by midnight on September 30th, 2022.

11. For questions, email

We are grateful to our contest sponsors: 803 LABS, Inc. and the Frances P. Bunnelle Foundation.

View our 2019 Photo Contest winners below!

5250 Bacteria Blitz

We invited you to join millions of people across the globe in sampling your local waters on World Water Monitoring Day! Since 2003, people have been participating in the global education outreach program. Aiming to build public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources, the program empowers citizens to perform basic monitoring of their local water bodies.  

On September 17th, we invited you to celebrate World Water Monitoring Day with us by participating in water monitoring in your local area of the Greater Winyah Bay Watershed. Whether you sampled the river, a tributary, or a swamp, you helped us collect data! You were part of a worldwide event monitoring water quality all over the globe during the Bacteria Blitz! Our goal this year was to collect 50 bacteria samples from the greater Winyah Bay watershed for our Bacteria Blitz to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act! With your help, we collected 55 samples from 6 of the watershed within our basin!

During the Bacteria Blitz, we tested for E.coli. We use the bacteria as our indicator species when testing for our Swim Guide program to give guidance on whether it is safe to swim. Our partners at EarthEcho International also provided us with kits for testing temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity of the water at your selected sites.


Of the 55 samples collected, only 4 samples exceeded the water quality standard! That means we had over a 90% pass rate for the Bacteria Blitz samples. In the water quality world, those are excellent results! We have put together some great resources where you can learn more about the results.

Click here to view the the one-page results report!

Click here to view a table of all the results!

Click here to view the recorded webinar from September 21st!

Click here to view the slides from the webinar!


There are lots of places to sample in the Greater Winyah Bay watershed! Many of our sampling sites were river landings, but participants sampled in local ponds, swashes, and more! Check out our map below to view the sites and results. Sites with green icons passed the water quality standard with E. coli concentrations less than 235 MPN/100mL. Sites with red icons failed the water quality standard with E. coli concentrations over 235 MPN/100mL. One site is marked with a grey icon because it was not analyzed. By selecting a specific site, you can also view the E. coli concentration for that site.

If you have questions about your results, you can contact your local Winyah Rivers’ Riverkeeper. Contact the Waccamaw Riverkeeper, Black-Sampit Riverkeeper, or Lumber Riverkeeper to learn more about your results or about how you can continue your water quality monitoring efforts in your watershed.

5250ACTions Challenge

Take the 5250ACTions Challenge! During our Countdown to Clean Water we encouraged you to ACT! Each challenge is a way you can ACT to protect clean water in the Waccamaw River watershed. The challenges are from three levels of difficulty: easy, medium, and hard. Checkout and print our entire 5250ACTions Challenge Checklist.

From May 18 through October 18, complete as many ACTions as you can for your chance to win prizes! Once you’ve completed your ACTions, be sure to report your results using our 5250ACTions Challenge Reporting Form!

5250 BioBlitz

Join the 5250 BioBlitz Project! From May 18 through October 18, we are hosting the 5250 BioBlitz! Your observations through our iNaturalist project throughout the greater Winyah Bay watershed to help us better understand our environment and how clean water supports all these amazing plants and animals! Get out in nature, snap a picture, log your observations on iNaturalist, and win an award!

Visit our 5250 BioBlitz Project page on iNaturalist and join the project the participate! Use our guide for How to Use iNaturalist to get started! Get out in nature, snap a picture, log your observations on iNaturalist, and learn about your environment!

Winyah Rivers Alliance

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

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