Yearly Archives: 2009

A sailboat moored just north of the Coast Guard base on the Ashley River caught fire today. Smoke from the blaze could be seen past the jetties. There is no word yet whether anyone was on board at the time of the fire. Coast Guard is currently investigating the matter.

Update: I drove past the scene of the fire today, I saw the sailboat’s rail sticking out of the water.  It’s safe to say, then, that the boat sank after catching ablaze.  The Coast Guard is still investigating the incident.


The Coast Guard performs an investigation after a sailboat caught fire and sank on the Ashley River. Photo by Cyrus Buffum


Participants at BarCampCHS listen to opening remarks from event organizers.

BarCampCHS is officially underway, and we’ll be here all day giving you live updates (follow @CyrusBuffum or @ChasWaterkeeper).  What is BarCamp, you ask?  We’re glad you asked.  Here’s a description taken from their website:

BarCamp is an ad-hoc, user generated “unconference” where participation, not observation is key.  It’s a day where people gather to share and learn in an open environment.

250 attendees spend all day learning about everything from “Building Stronger Communities with Social Media” to “Photojournalism as an Art.”  The presenters are the attendees, and the attendees are the presenters.

Charleston Waterkeeper is specifically interested in this “un-conference” because of its focus on open-sourced means of sharing information.  Our organization’s mission is to improve the quality of Charleston’s waterways.  In order to be successful at implementing this goal, we must engage an entire community and educate our citizens.  And so, it is absolutely essential to share information, spread awareness and involve the public.  Luckily, over the past few years many tools have emerged that have made this easier and more possible.

Harnessing tools like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. is essential (if done correctly) in effectively implementing our mission, and we intend to keep the public engaged and informed to the best of our ability about the issues influencing the health of our waterways.  Hopefully we’ll return from this conference with some heavy artillery and new ideas to better serve you and our natural resources.

Update: Here’s a great video from our friend @geofftech:

Donna Lisenby, North Carolina’s Watauga Riverkeeper, was recently featured in a short documentary.  The Waterkeeper Alliance is lucky to have Donna’s dedication and commitment, and we at Charleston Waterkeeper are proud to be a part of this movement.

Mayor Beckmann discusses ideas designed to address litter on Folly Beach

Mayor Beckmann discusses ideas designed to address litter on Folly Beach

Yesterday evening, Folly Beach City Council members met for a two-hour work session in order to brainstorm ideas to address the prevalence of litter on their beaches and streets.  Increased attention has been given to the issue of trash and litter as a result of 4th of July festivities that left both Folly Beach and Morris Island absolutely trashed.

Each council member had an opportunity to present his thoughts on the matter. Councilman Goodwin suggested that the city use the public radio station, 1610AM, to broadcast information and regulations pertaining to the beaches.  He recommended that signs be erected on Folly Road encouraging people to “tune in.”  In addition, the councilman proposed that the city officially adopt the SC State Litter Law which issues a $1,000 fine, court time and community service to any ‘litterbug’.

Mayor Beckmann emphasized that it is essential to “change the behavior of people” in order to address the problem, and yet, he said, “[this is] the hardest of our challenges.”  The mayor also made a statement of personal responsibility, explaining that it is fine for citizens to expect a clean beach, but it is just as much their responsibility to do something if they see polluters or litterers as it is the city’s, “the thing with litter is that you’ve got to catch people in the act.”

A number of public organizations, non-profits, schools and social clubs already donate their time and attention to Folly Beach and other areas by organizing regular beach sweeps and cleanups.  Councilwoman Beck challenged the city to support such groups and organizations, considering the amount of support they have given the city.

Councilman McCarty’s recommendations focused on the importance of community involvement.  He proposed a 5-pointed approach to do so:

  1. Engage the citizens
  2. Inform the public
  3. Enlist volunteers
  4. Reward positive behavior
  5. Audit effectiveness of abovementioned efforts

After nearly two and a half hours of brainstorming, council members reached a very simple consensus: litter on our beaches and streets must be addressed by attacking it from more than one angle.

Charleston Waterkeeper commends the City of Folly Beach for taking an active role in addressing litter on our beaches and streets.  Such leadership provides a prime example for citizens and neighboring municipalities.


After a year of indecisive deliberation, Charleston Waterkeeper finally has a logo (we’re serious this time, we promise!).  A huge thanks to Justin Harris (follow him on twitter: @JHarrisSC) for making it all happen! 

We’re revving up to plaster the new logo just about everywhere, so get ready to help spread the word: stickers, shirts, who knows… maybe even a tattoo here and there.

Email us your thoughts about the meaning behind the different components of the logo.  If we think you’re on the right track then we’ll send you a free sticker (once we get them printed up, of course).