Category Archives: Charleston Waterkeeper
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We want to thank everyone that attended our Sixth Annual Water Ball on September 17, 2015. It was a successful evening for clean water and a wonderful event. We hope you had as much fun as we did! Check out all of the photos from the event here.

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© Brandon Lata Photography

We would like to give a huge thank you to all of the amazing chefs that participated this year – your dishes were incredibly inspired!

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© Brandon Lata Photography

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© Brandon Lata Photography

Next, we’d like to give a huge shout out to all of our sponsors – we could not have pulled off such a successful event without your support!

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Finally, we would like to thank everyone that purchased a raffle ticket for a chance to win our Scout 191 Bay Boat. Congratulations to Julien Libaire of Charleston, winner of the raffle drawing. Though we’re sad to see her go, we are happy to see her go to a good home where she will be well used!

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We look forward to an even better Water Ball in 2016. See you all then!

 

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Ashley Short’s connection to the environment began at a young age while playing outdoors on her grandmother’s farm in rural Kentucky. It is that foundation that leads her to believe every person should have the opportunity to recreate in a clean environment.  She attended college at Virginia Tech where she received a Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Policy and Planning.  After graduation she went straight to Pace University School of Law in White Plains, NY where she earned a Juris Doctorate and a Certificate in Environmental Law.  While in law school Ashley interned with the Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic for a year and spent two summers interning at the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington D.C.  A recent Charleston transplant, Ashley is looking forward to helping protect Charleston’s waterways as Charleston Waterkeeper’s first Clean Water Legal Fellow and will work primarily with the Permit Watchdog Program.

Stay tuned to the blog for updates on Ashley’s findings and our facebook page where you might see her in the field with our investigators! 

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We caught up with the founders of the inaugural Carolina Surf Film Festival, Bo Edmunds, Chad Davis & Chuck Gainey, to chat about their upcoming event, clean water and Charleston’s thriving surf scene.

Tell us a little bit about Carolina Surf Film Festival and why you chose Charleston for the inaugural event. 

Boasting over 600 miles of shoreline, the Carolina coast has long been a favored haunt of pirates, surfers, and dreamers. Situated near the center of this storied stretch of sand, Charleston, South Carolina is known for her colorful history, natural beauty, and thriving surf culture. We are pleased to announce Charleston as the home of the Carolina Surf Film Festival.

The opening night of the festival will include a short film, a feature film, and a dinner party to honor the filmmakers, patrons, and sponsors.  The remaining two nights will include live music, a full bar (featuring locally crafted beer by Westbrook Brewing Company), a food truck rodeo, vendor booths, an artist’s corner (with a live painting performance by celebrated artist Chris Kemp) and, of course, surf and water sports themed movies. Our distinguished panel of judges will screen the movies and award honors to winning entrants.  The Brickhouse Kitchen & Party Plantation on James Island is graciously hosting all three nights of the festival; October 16-18, 2014.

What is your connection to Charleston’s waterways? 

We’re happiest when we’re on the water.   Boating, fishing, paddling, surfing, we do whatever we can to be on or near it as much as we can.  We started the festival as a way to celebrate and thank the surfing community, and to increase public awareness of two non profits we greatly admire:  Charleston Waterkeeper and Surfer’s Healing.  By providing a forum at the festival and in our marketing campaign, we hope that both may reach a larger number of people.   Regarding Charleston Waterkeeper’s mission, we are keenly aware that in addition to reaching like minded people, i.e. water people, we also need to find a way to reach those who don’t spend as much time on the water.   The real challenge is getting the rest of the population to understand that water quality doesn’t just affect surfers and water sports enthusiasts.  Though the festival will draw mostly water people, we hope to create enough buzz around the event to reach those who may not be interested in surfing per se, but who love good food, music, art, etc.

Why is clean water important to the sport of surfing? 

It isn’t just important, it’s vital.  At its core, surfing is pure.  The act of riding a wave is clean and simple.  It takes you to a higher place.  By the way, few surfers have ever been able to describe the feelings riding a wave inspires;  I’ll spare you any further attempt and get to the heart of the matter:  Dirty water stinks!  It goes against the grain of what we stand for as surfers.  Clean water is important to surfing because dirty water is unacceptable.  My partners and I have a unique opportunity to do our part via the film festival.  As surfers and humans we feel a deep responsibility and obligation to insure clean water for future generations.

Visit www.CarolinaSurfFilmFestival.com to find out more information and purchase tickets to the 3 day event happening October 16th, 17th & 18th!

We are happy to report that on April 22, 2014 the IRS reinstated Charleston Waterkeeper’s status as a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The reinstatement is retroactive to the date of revocation. (See our previous statements about this issue here and here.)

The automatic revocation of our tax-exempt designation happened because we failed to file annual forms for years 2009, 2010, and 2011–the years during which we operated as a “project” under Waterkeeper Alliance’s fiscal sponsorship. After receiving our tax-exempt designation in late 2011, we neglected to understand our obligation to retroactively file required forms for these previous years.

On August 7, 2013, working with our CPA and general counsel, we submitted all required documentation to the IRS. Eight months later, on April 3, 2014, our application was assigned to an IRS agent for processing. On April 22, 2014, after review, our 501(c)(3) status was retroactively reinstated. Although it took the IRS much longer than the expected 90-day processing period to review our application, we are pleased to have this issue resolved. All Form 990s filed with and approved by the IRS are available for reference here: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012.

Throughout this process, we have continued to focus our energy and resources on our programmatic activities through education, outreach, and celebration of our collective right to clean water. We look forward to ongoing success and are incredibly grateful for your continued support and faith in Charleston Waterkeeper.

Water Ball 2012 Highlights from Charleston Waterkeeper on Vimeo.

Two weeks ago, the Charleston community came together to celebrate its fundamental right to clean water.  We are happy to report that Charleston Waterkeeper’s Third Annual Water Ball was our biggest, most successful event yet!

Water Ball 2012 had an estimated record attendance of over 400 people!  (Even an ominous thunderstorm couldn’t keep people away from enjoying their evening dedicated to clean water.)  The evening began under the tents on the riverside terrace as guests were greeted by a glass of LaBubbly champagne accompanied by a classical trio’s performance of Handel’s Water Music.  At 8PM guests entered the aquarium to enjoy food from local restaurants and drinks courtesy of New Belgium Brewing, Palmetto Distributing, and ICEBOX Bartending Services.

Thanks to the incredible support from our sponsors, attendees, volunteers, and friends, Water Ball 2012 raised over $15,000 for Charleston Waterkeeper this year!  These funds will go directly to support our permit watchdog program and our water quality monitoring program.  The goal with both initiatives is to gather baseline data that will allow us to identify water pollution issues and work towards pragmatic solutions.

The Water Machine returned to the Water Ball in a never before seen way.  Representing the need for us all to come together as a community to promote and maintain clean water, guests bought light bulbs throughout the night and showed our collective support of clean water.  Water Machine 3.0 raised $3,900 at Water Ball 2012 , and with the generous support of the Bishop Family Foundation in matching every light bulb bought, we raised in total $7,800 to support the permit watchdog program and our water quality monitoring program!


Our dedication to 100% waste diversion throughout the evening was also a resounding success.  Between the collective efforts of our vendors, guests, volunteers, and staff, Water Ball 2012 produced only one bag of trash, and we were able to divert 280 pounds of recyclable material from the landfill.

We’ve received an overwhelming level of praise from attendees, vendors, sponsors, and local media – with press features ranging from Charleston Magazine to Charleston Art Mag; fashionable Water Ball attendees were even featured in Ayoka Lucas’s Style Snaps.

The Twitpic team was on hand to guarantee that all those in attendance had a chance to channel their inner Waterkeeper in this year’s Twitpic photo booth.  For a full album of all photo booth images, click the photo below.

In addition, Jason A. Zwiker was on scene to capture the evening’s success…

 

And finally, this year’s event would not have been possible without the amazing group of sponsors, vendors, friends, and volunteers who came together to support the protection of Charleston’s waterways. Check out our full list of supporters here:

We are looking forward to another successful year and cannot wait to see you at Water Ball 2013.