Last Tuesday the Waterkeeper Alliance board of directors approved an application for a new riverkeeper for the Columbia, South Carolina area. The riverkeeper will act as an advocate for the Saluda, Congaree, and Broad rivers.
Waterkeepers Alliance is a national organization that sanctions and supports individuals that form a local waterkeeper organization focused on monitoring and reducing pollution. In this case, USC graduate student Alan Mehrzad applied for the right to start a riverkeeper program in Columbia. He was granted a conditional riverkeeper license and now must formally create and fund a nonprofit organization.
The Saluda River flows south to the City of Columbia where it offers backyard angling, swimming, and whitewater boating for hundreds of thousands of people. In Columbia the Saluda joins the Broad River to form the Congaree River which soon thereafter enters the incredible riparian swamps of the Congaree National Park. American Whitewater is currently working on the relicensing of a major dam just upstream of Columbia, as well as several other local water quality and stream access issues in the area. Knowing that rivers need all the help they can get, AW wrote a letter of support for the riverkeeper position earlier this month (attached at right).
We look forward to working with the riverkeeper soon!
AW letter for support for the creation of a new riverkeeper position for the Columbia, SC area.