Yearly Archives: 2021

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We caught up with Creek Watcher Bob Jontos

HP: Why do you choose to support Charleston Waterkeeper?

BJ: Supporting Charleston Waterkeeper allows me to help protect water quality and is a natural offshoot of my former career as a Professional Wetland Scientist. It also allows me the opportunity to give back to the community. 

HP: What is your favorite way to enjoy clean water?

BJ: Kayaking and fishing, and I haven’t done enough of either this year. 

HP: What is your favorite waterway in Charleston? 

BJ: Don’t have a favorite waterway yet. Lots more exploring to do. 

HP: Tell us something interesting about yourself that we might not know? 

BJ: I love to fly fish for trout. 

The Keeper’s Report

June 2021

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Welcome to your June 2021 Keeper’s Report in an all new format but still with all the latest action for clean water right here in your waterways!

Clearing the Nurdle Hurdle is a team sport. But, don’t take our word for it, check out the Nurdles Deep Dive discussion hosted by the South Carolina Conservation Coalition.

You’ll hear from your Charleston Waterkeeper, Andrew Wunderley, Senator Sandy Senn, Emily Cedzo from the Coastal Coastal Conservation League, and attorney Mathieu Erramuzpe from the Southern Environmental Law Center on why collaboration matters and how we are fighting to keep your harbor and beaches free of industrial plastic pellet pollution.

Watch Today: Nurdles Deep Dive

In the News

Catastrophic nurdle spill

The pellet spill in Sri Lanka is tragic, familiar, and heartbreaking. It’s also a symptom of lax oversight of the plastic industry that cannot be allowed to continue. “Just trust us” isn’t good enough.

Washington Post: Learn More

A new 23 acre park on the Charleston Harbor? 

Yes, please! Kudos to Sen. Chip Campsen and Rep. Spencer Whetmore for jumping on this once in a generation opportunity to preserve an important property and increase public access to the harbor–which by law belongs to you!Post and Courier: Learn More



New Oyster Reef Conservation is about collaboration! Proud to stand with SC DNR’s SCORE program and Patriots Point to build a new oyster reef in the harbor. It takes a village!

Count On 2: Lean More


Member Spotlight – Mike Marcell

We caught up with one of our favorite long-time supporters after this week’s bacteria testing run!

Mike says he supports Charleston Waterkeeper because “he loves that the data he helps collect gets put to good use making important changes for clean water in my community.”

Read the interview today! 

Take Action

Water Quality Testing Campaign 

The water is warm and that means our annual water quality testing campaign is underway! Testing bacteria levels at 20 different spots and publishing the results every week so you know when and where it’s safe to swim is expensive but critical work for your community. We need your help to make sure we can test and publish all 520 samples for you this year.

Join the campaign today and help us reach our 520 sample goal! Every gift gets us closer to our goal and helps keep you safe!

Clean Water Wins

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Boots on the water

You’re awesome and you stand up and show up for clean water! Already this year we’ve mobilized over 300 volunteers, planted 344 bags of oyster shell, and removed over 5,000 pounds of trash from your waterways, harbor and beaches!

Join the fun: Volunteer

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Bacteria testing 

100 down, 420 to go! This week we took our 100th sample of the 2021 season. We added 5 new sites this year, including Hendricks Park on Filbin Creek and the Stono River at Sol Legare to help keep you and your family safe.

Support this work


Let’s get social! 

Don’t miss any of the action for clean water: especially the weekly bacteria testing data! Be sure to follow along on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and now LinkedIn!



Charleston Waterkeeper
PO Box 29
Charleston, SC 29402
United States

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Mike Marcell

We caught up with volunteer, supporter, and Creek Watcher Mike Marcell

Date: June 9, 2021

Time: 11:30am (just after returning from the weekly morning sample run!)

Location: Charleston Waterkeeper HQ

HP: Why do you choose to support Charleston Waterkeeper?

MM: I’ve managed to be on the water most of my life and I know the importance of clean water and protecting the environment. This is a way for me to pursue my interests, while supporting an energetic & fun organization! I really like that this is a science-based organization and that the data is collected regularly and put to good use to make important changes in the community. I love that it is a small group of dedicated individuals!

HP: What is your favorite way to enjoy clean water?

MM: I have been kayaking for many years 

HP: What is your favorite waterway in Charleston? 

MM: That is a tough one and I do love all of them for different reasons, but the Ashley River is special to me and I am so thankful of all of the work Charleston Waterkeeper is doing to keep fighting to clean it up

HP: Tell us something interesting we might not know?

MM: During the pandemic, I learned how to edit video and audio tracks and put this skill to use for Charleston Waterkeeper’s Creek Watcher training videos. I am also a former College of Charleston Professor. And something strange that people might not know is I really like statistics. 


What a year already! Are we right!? And now, just like the humidity your Keeper’s Report is back (hopefully it’s more welcome than the humidity).

We’re dropping all the latest news and action in the fight for clean water. That’s good because if you’re anything at all like us, you’ve been enjoying a lot of time on the water lately and want to make sure your kids can do the same when they’re older.

Don’t forget, everything you see here is 100% community supported by people just like you. Make a gift today and help make sure our boots stay on the water working for you and your favorite waterway:

This month we’re hitting all of our least favorite topics. What are they? You’ll have to read on . . .

So . . .  is it safe to swim?

Not always. That’s why we test bacteria levels in popular rivers and creeks to keep you and your family healthy and safe while enjoying the water. We added 5 new sites this year, including Hendricks Park on Filbin Creek and the Stono River at Sol Legare boat landing.

Testing starts this week and the first batch of results will be out this Friday! Don’t get sick or left in the dark, make sure you stay in up to date with all the latest water quality information:

Know before you go: (check water quality alerts)

Download: The Swim Guide

Oh and earlier this year, we got DHEC to close a decades old loophole that allowed unhealthy levels of bacteria in the Harbor and Shem Creek. Now all your rivers and creeks have one consistent standard to protect your health!

We got your back. Now go get wet!

The Nurdle Hurdle continues . . .

40-2 is a great record no matter what sports you like to follow. It’s an extraordinary record for a vote on an anti-plastic pellet pollution bill in the South Carolina Senate. Clean water wins like this happen because you stand up, you show up, and you speak up for your waterways. Huge thank you all of you for contacting your legislators and to Sen. Sandy Senn for leading the way as a champion on this important bill.

Now it’s on to the House next legislative session!

Read the press

ABC News 4 SC Senate passes “nurdle bill” to help curb plastic pellet spills

Count On 2 Bill cracking down on plastic pellet pollution in Lowcountry waterways passes SC Senate

In Case You Missed It

Back in early March we signed a historic clean water settlement with Frontier Logistics for plastic nurdle pollution in your waterways and on your beaches. The settlement will create a $1 million dollar fund at Coastal Community Foundation to support local projects that benefit the water quality and health of the Charleston Harbor.

Read more about one of the largest clean water settlements in South Carolina history.

Or check out all the local and national press on this issue here.

The Number 2 is running (again)

The Number 2 is back at City Marina and ready for service! Thanks to your support, we are proud to be offering a free mobile marine pumpout service to keep your waterways sewage free.

The Number 2 has a whole new fuel system including a handy hatch that will make dealing with issues a lot easier down the road. And, more reliable too!

Reach out to Capt. Meredith to schedule a pumpout or learn more about the Number 2:

Charleston Waterkeeper Mobile Marine Pumpout Service

Quick hits

After last year, our volunteer events are back in a big way and folks are getting muddy and dirty for clean water all the time. Join an event today!

Not up for volunteering? That’s cool, it’s not for everyone. You can show your support for clean water with some super cool Charleston Waterkeeper gear. Shop our online store.

Don’t sleep on the fight for clean water. Stay up to date on all the latest news and action in your favorite creeks and rivers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

And, we’ve finally updated our LinkedIn page. Follow us!


Post & Courier

A proposal to split DHEC gains steam, some worry about damaging environmental protection

ABC News 4

Wastewater at toxic superfund site treated and discharged into sewage system, developer says


Post & Courier

Saltwater bodies like Shem Creek must meet stricter bacteria standards with new regulation

ABC News 4

Charleston Waterkeeper, NOAA begin pilot study that tests local waters for contaminants

Live 5 News

New pilot study tests Lowcountry waterways for contaminants


Post & Courier

SC plastic pellet spill lawsuit settled for $1 million

The State

Company accused of plastic pollution agrees to pay SC nonprofits $1M in settlement

Charleston Business Journal 

Frontier Logistics agrees to $1.2 million settlement in pellet lawsuit

ABC News 4

$1 million settlement reached in Charleston “nurdle” lawsuit

Live 5 News

Environmental groups, company settle suit involving plastic pellets on Sullivan’s Island beach

Count on 2 News

$1M settlement reached in lawsuit over “nurdles” in Charleston Harbor

Count on 2 News

Conservation leaders work to mitigate pollution and threats to Lowcountry waterways. 


$1 million nurdle spill settlement shines light on plastic pollution during shipping

Live 5 News

SC bill aims to prevent plastic pellets in local waterways 

Post & Courier 

SC bill would crack down on plastic pellet spills 


Count on 2

DHEC to start annual water quality tests at state beaches

ABC News 4

SC Senate passes “nurdle bill” to help curb plastic pellet spills

Count on 2

Bill cracking down on plastic pellet pollution in Lowcountry waterways passes SC Senate

Count on 2

Earth Day sparks clean-ups throughout the Lowcountry