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“People protect what they love.” – Jacques-Yves Cousteau

Top 10 Ways You Can Protect Your Local Waterways

1: Abandon Single-Use Plastics!

Did you know that the acts of using single-use plastic bags, purchasing a case of plastic water bottles and sipping out of a plastic straw, all contribute to the FACT that we are dumping a garbage truck full of plastic into our oceans every minute. Don’t take our word for it. Watch this powerful video to learn why the simple acts of bringing your own bag to the store, carrying your own water bottle, and skipping the plastic straw can and will make a positive impact.

2: Educate Yourself and Your Friends!

Stand up to plastic pollution by educating yourself and your friends. There is a lot out there about this problem and why we all need to work together and be a part of the solution. We recommend starting with this documentary: The Plastic Problem – A PBS NewsHour Documentary

3: Clean-Up After Your Furry Friend!

But why? Well, here’s the skinny: your best pal’s waste gets washed into your waterways carries pathogens that affect living things in the water, and make people sick that are in contact. The nutrients released from your dog’s poop stimulates the growth of algae and other plant life, making your local waterways and creeks unsuitable for recreational use.

4: Leave No Trace!

You’ve all heard the saying “Pack it In, Pack it Out” and although Leave No Trace originated from a backcountry setting, the 7 Principles have been adapted so that they can be applied anywhere – like your local waterways. Get out there, enjoy and be a good steward to the environment by adopting these 7 Principles.

5: Eat, Shop, and Think Locally!

We all love this seafood town, but do you know where that delicious meal is sourced and why you should choose wisely and with sustainability in mind? We are big fans of Abundant Seafood and stand behind their philosophy “to ensure that the populations of fish we rely on, and the habitat they rely on, are managed so there will be plenty of fish for generations.” When you choose to shop locally, you are reducing your carbon footprint. It really is that simple. Take a stand and make the decision to buy your produce, plants, clothing and day-to-day items from a local business instead of going to a large retailer.

6: Advocate! 

Become a clean water leader by getting to know your South Carolina Representative and Senator, writing a letter to the editor, attending your local city or town council meeting and speaking during the public comment period. Get to know and talk to your local elected leaders about the water quality issues that are important to you and sign up for Charleston Waterkeeper’s email list to stay informed about the issues impacting your right to clean water!  

7: Volunteer!

Take an active role in environmental stewardship by volunteering your time! From helping with marsh restoration to litter cleanups, there are a variety of ways to get involved. Join together with your community to make a difference right here in your local waterways. Volunteer with Charleston Waterkeeper: charlestonwaterkeeper.org/volunteer 

8: Compost!

Did you know that 35% of American’s annual waste can be composted? By choosing to compost, you can reduce your waste that goes directly to the landfill and the amount of greenhouse gasses produced. Additionally, composting produces nutrient-rich soil for your local, native plants. If you have never tried it, take our word for it, it is so much easier than you think, but if you simply do not have the time or the yard space, here is a great solution: Compost Now!

9: 3Rs!

Reduce * Reuse * Recycle 

And which one positively impacts the environment the most? Reducing your consumption and waste, of course! But they all go hand in hand and need your attention every day to make a difference in reducing your carbon footprint. By living a more sustainable lifestyle, you are committing to planning ahead and making smart choices that are good for you, your family and the environment. It is a win, win, win! 

10: Make a Contribution to Charleston Waterkeeper! 

By giving to Charleston Waterkeeper, you are ensuring the protection and restoration of your waterways for generations to come. We are very proud to stand with you for clean water, today and always!