Fecal pollution is impacting our right to safely swim, fish, and standup paddleboard in the Ashley/Cooper River Basin.  Despite this threat, nobody monitors the heavily used areas in our tidal creeks and rivers for enterococcus bacteria, an indicator of fecal pollution.  What’s more, funding and personnel for DHEC’s bacteria monitoring programs are at an all time low.

As a result we’re left uninformed about whether our favorite recreational areas meet EPA and DHEC standards for safe swimming.

Our Project

Charleston Waterkeeper’s Water Quality Monitoring Project will change that. The project’s goals are to:

  • Monitor enterococcus bacteria levels in frequently used areas of our tidal creeks and rivers.
  • Notify the the public of when and where our local waterways meet EPA and DHEC standards for safe swimming.
  • Identify hotspots and work to mitigate sources of fecal pollution.

Get Involved

Building a water quality monitoring project around the areas where we love to swim, fish, and standup paddleboard is a big job.  To take the first step we need your help! Click [here], and drop a point on the map to show us where you swim, kayak, standup paddleboard, and fish.  We’ll test the most popular spots for fecal pollution and publish the results for you.


View Where Do You Use Our Waterways? in a larger map

Project Development

Identifying the most popular recreational areas is only the first step.  Charleston Waterkeeper is developing a full scale water quality monitoring program. We are working to secure the capacity and resources to regularly monitor primary contact recreation areas and several other categories of sites in the tidal areas of the Ashely/Cooper River Basin.  Help support this work.

Want to get involved? Have a special skill you think could help?  Worked on quality assurance project plan development during a 30 year career in environmental monitoring?  If so, we’d love to talk with you!  Contact us [here].

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