Category Archives: General News

Today marks the first full day of summer. Thanks to our Swim Guide App finding a local beach where the water is clean enough for swimming, surfing, and other water-related activities is a lot easier.

The free smartphone app provides up-to-date water quality information at 27 points along the five local beaches in the Charleston area: Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s Island, Folly Beach, Kiawah Island, and Seabrook Island.

Access to the most up-to-date water quality data will help protect the public’s health and increase awareness about pollution issues threatening our right to swimmable water. Swim Guide utilizes monthly water quality data gathered by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to determine whether the water at local beaches is safe for swimming.

The Swim Guide App also allows users to report pollution at local beaches, get directions, view photos, and learn which beaches are best for which types of activities like surfing or dog-walking. Users can also easily share information on social networks.

But if you’re like us, you don’t use our waterways only at the beach. Unfortunately, up-to-date water quality information for our small tidal creeks and rivers is not readily available. [Learn More] Help Charleston Waterkeeper change that.  Show us where you swim, standup paddleboard, kayak, and sail in our tidal creeks and rivers. We’ll test the most popular spots and publish the results for you.

Click [here], drop a point on the Google Map, and show us were you get in the water.

View Where Do You Swim? in a larger map

The Swim Guide app is available from the Apple App Store, for Android from Google Play, or online at [Swim Guide]. Charleston Waterkeeper is launching Swim Guide in partnership with the Waterkeeper Alliance, a network of nearly 200 other Waterkeeper organizations fighting for clean water and strong communities worldwide.

Charleston Waterkeeper exists for one reason: to protect your right to swimmable, drinkable, fishable water. In fact, this goal applies to any enjoyable use of our waters–surfing, sailing, kayaking, crabbing, paddling, etc. We believe that each of us has a fundamental right to this resource. Whenever a waterway is polluted, it becomes unusable. And as a result, something that once belonged to the public, now becomes privatized.

We’re constantly inspired by those of you who use our waterways each and every day: the oystermen, the surfers, the swimmers, and the anglers. Every-so-often, we are reminded of the mutual inspiration that comes from your passion and respect for the resource and our dedication to protect them.

One such example came recently.

We received this email from a supporter of ours who was on his honeymoon. We were completely taken-aback by it and had to share it with the world. The message speaks for itself…

On those days you think you guys aren’t making a difference, know that you have touched individuals all over, in all kinds of ways.

We hauled out an enormous load of plastics washed ashore on Haulover Bay in the USVI in the name of Charleston Waterkeeper. Haulover is an incredible, road accessed (public) underwater sanctuary completely littered with plastics.

Thanks for all of your hard work, Waterkeepers.

Thank you, guys, and thanks for sharing! This is the stuff that keeps us each and every day.

It’s that time of year again, Charleston!  Spoleto’s here, the weather couldn’t be finer, and Art for Charity is in full swing.  If you recall from last year, Charleston Waterkeeper was selected as one of Michael Mitchell Art Gallery’s six chosen charities to benefit from their month-long philanthropic campaign.

Art for Charity is a unique gallery event where a portion of profits from sold artwork benefit local, non-profit organizations. This year’s charities include Friends of MUSC Children’s HospitalCrisis MinistriesKomen LowcountryRoper St. Francis Ryan White ProgramMUSC Hollings Cancer Center, and yours truly.

We’re so excited for this Thursday, as it’s our go-around with Art for Charity.  For full details about this Thursday’s event, visit our Facebook event page here.

In case you need a quick glimpse of what’s going on, here ya go!

What: Art for Charity Benefiting Charleston Waterkeeper

When: Thursday, June 7, 2012; 6-9PM

Where: Michael Mitchell Art Gallery, 438 King Street

Who: Food from 39 Rue de Jean, wine by Spanish Vines, beer by Holy City Brewing, and beats by DJ Sonar.

More: Recommended $10 donation at the door; additional proceeds will be donated to Charleston Waterkeeper from every sold piece of artwork

We are exited to announce a new partnership between Charleston Waterkeeper and Groupon Grassroots!  This morning, a Charleston Waterkeeper campaign went live as part of the Groupon Grassroots Earth Day Campaign.  The G-Team allows Groupon users to connect with local fundraisers, campaigns, and charitable causes, and we are very proud to be working with them this week.

If the Grassroots campaign raises $400, then Charleston Waterkeeper can test 16 samples of local water for bacteria contamination, with all donations matched up to $500 by Flyway SC. Each additional $50 raised will fund the testing of another water sample.  To celebrate the launch of Groupon Grassroots, Groupon has provided a $1,000 kickoff grant to the campaign.  When you donate to our campaign, we will be one step closer to raising our $400 goal, and launching the Water Quality Monitoring Program.

The Water Quality Monitoring Program is designed to collect scientific data to determine hot spots, areas of concern, and most important, information that will allow Charleston Waterkeeper to work towards a solution to pollution issues. Charleston Waterkeeper will collect water samples from tidal creeks and waterways to test levels of enterococcus bacteria to determine whether bacterial contamination threatens boating, fishing, and swimming. The organization’s goal is to track down and eliminate any sources of bacteria to ensure clean and safe areas for boating, fishing, and swimming.  Reductions in federal and state funding have severely reduced monitoring for bacteria in Charleston’s tidal creeks and rivers.  The Department of Health and Environmental Control only monitors enterococcus bacteria levels at area beaches.  Because no monitoring occurs in our tidal creeks and rivers, Charleston Waterkeeper will focus its enterococcus monitoring efforts in these areas.  This program will ensure that the fishable, swimmable, drinkable quality of the area’s waterways is protected.

In launching this important new program, Charleston Waterkeeper will be able to determine pollution hotspots and work to eliminate sources of pollution that threaten the quality of our waterways.

You can check out the Charleston Waterkeeper campaign here.  Keep checking back for updates as we approach our goal of $400!