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Welcome to your March 2020 Keeper’s Report from your Charleston Waterkeeper! Things are a bit uncertain with all the coronavirus unknowns right now. But, one thing you don’t have to worry about is who’s keeping an eye on your waterways. We’re here, we’re not going anywhere, and we’re working for clean water today and always.

In this month’s Keeper’s Report, we’re talking eco-fashion, creek watching, taskforcing, and of course, those pesky little plastic pellets called nurdles. Not all in that order, or maybe in that order, you’ll have to read on.

Putting our boots where our mouth is

The 2020 Volunteer Corps season is off to great start with 8 events, 428 volunteers, and 1,046 service hours logged for clean water already this year! Together, we’ve planted cordgrass seedlings for marsh restoration, recycled and bagged oyster shells for new reefs, and cleaned up your marshes and creeks. Volunteers are great!

See for yourself: 

1/18 – West Ashley Marsh and Highway Cleanup
2/8 – Shell Bagging with SCDNR
2/22 – Filbin Creek Cleanup with Filbin Friends
2/27 – Seed Planing with SCDNR

Cleanups don’t plan themselves! Cheryl cuts up for a great eco-fashion who wore it better.

Nurdles rule or nurdle rules?

We’re still finding them everywhere, all the time. And, there still aren’t any rules in place to protect our waterways and beaches from plastic nurdle pollution. That’s bad for fish, it’s bad for birds, and it’s bad for clean water. Thank you to SC Sen. Sandy Senn for trying to get something done and give DHEC the clear authority to regulate nurdle packing and transporting! Unfortunately, the effort is running into some headwinds.

Read more about that in Sen Senn’s weekly update.

Or watch her go to bat for your waterways in the Senate. Scroll down to the Senate video on March 5. The good stuff starts about the 53-minute mark.

Stay tuned. Plastic nurdle pollution won’t stop itself . . .

Sen Sandy Senn in the SC Senate on March 5 going to bat for your waterways! Those nurdles she’s holding? They came from Waterfront Park in downtown Charleston.

Volunteer watches creek, does science

In February we trained up a fresh batch of Creek Watcher citizen-scientist volunteers. What’s a Creek Watcher? What are they watching for? What creeks are they watching? How are they doing it? Why are they doing it? We know you have a lot of questions about this very cool program, so hit the link below!

Learn more: charlestonwaterkeeper.org/what-we-do/programs/creekwatchers

That’s excellent technique on the ole’ Winkler titration there, Daniel! Way to go, it’s not all that easy!

Up James Island Creek without a paddle?

But not for much longer! A big thank you to City of Charleston Councilwoman Carol Jackson for leading the charge to create the James Island Creek Taskforce. The Taskforce will guide the effort the clean up James Island Creek and make it safe for swimming. It will include members for the City of Charleston, Town of James Island, Charleston County, Charleston Water System, the James Island Public Service District, citizens, and conservation groups. This is a solid step in the right direction for James Island Creek.

James Island Creek is going on a bacteria diet, folks! More to come . . .

The room where it happens. Your City of Charleston City Council camber.

The next few days, weeks, months

We’re not sure what time will bring. But we do know this: the fight for clean, healthy water never stops. That’s why we’ll be here, on the front line standing up for you and your waterways until the job is done. We do this for you because you lift us up and empower action, every day, for clean water. Thank you and stay safe, friends.

The fight for clean water is not canceled . . . 

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