Here’s a glimpse of what we’ve been up to lately.

Failing septic systems foul SC homes and waterways, but solutions are costly

James Island waterway fails almost all bacteria tests for 5 years

Municipalities agree to work together to improve water quality at James Island Creek

James Island residents ask for federal help after concerns over James Island Creek

Human fecal matter creating unsafe bacteria levels in James Island Creek, task force working to clean it up

James Island Creek quality taskforce tasked with cleaning waterway, including fecal waste

New ordinance proposed to reduce human waste in James Island Creek

Editorial: We know what’s polluting James Island Creek. Now we need to fix it

Commentary: Cleaning up James Island Creek isn’t cheap. Federal COVID fund should help.

The Keeper Report

October 2021

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Hello and welcome to your October 2021 Keeper‘s Report! We’d like to dedicate this Keeper‘s Report to the one and only, your tried and true Waterkeeper, Andrew Wunderley in celebration of his 10 Year Anniversary at Charleston Waterkeeper! 

Andrew has devoted a decade of his life to restoring and protecting your waterways each and every day for future generations and we can tell you first hand, he is not slowing down: Read More!

Give today in honor of Andrew’s 10th Anniversary at Charleston Waterkeeper!


We know what’s polluting James Island Creek

The Post and Courier Editorial Board is on point here: Now is the time to address bacteria pollution in James Island Creek

The Post and Courier: Learn More

Unsafe bacteria levels in James Island Creek

Ever wonder what’s causing high bacteria levels in James Island Creek? Here’s your answer and it’s gross.

Count on 2 News: Watch Today

Andrew’s Opinion Piece: we must act now!

We know how to protect ourselves from polluted floodwater: preserve wetlands, marshes, and native soils. The only question is, are we brave enough to do it?

Post and Courier: Learn More



Member Spotlight 

Mary Edna Fraser

We had the pleasure of catching up with one of our all time favorite conservation artists and long time supporters! Thanks to Mary Edna, we conducted our very first test in 2012 off of her dock on James Island Creek! We continue to have the great honor and pleasure of testing from her beautiful sanctuary and place of peace and the data continues to drive change and awareness.

Read More!


Take Action

Water Quality Testing Campaign 

We are almost to the finish line of the annual water quality testing campaign! We need your help to test and publish all 520 samples for you this year.

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

Clean Water Updates

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Volunteer and Board Appreciation Day!

Every day is Volunteer and Board Appreciation Day in our book, but last night we had the great pleasure of celebrating our incredible group of devoted individuals that are out there doing the work! And, the best part, we got to surprise your Waterkeeper.

Give today in honor of Andrew!

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It’s Happening! 

We are back at it, teaming up with DNR SCORE to offer a variety of important oyster restoration projects. You can make an impact to protect your waterways! And, guess what? You might have a lot of fun!


Check it out! Volunteer Today

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Oyster Season is Here!

October marks the start of oyster roast season! Remember to recycle your shell with DNR SCORE so it can be used for restoration. There are several drop-off locations around town and they will even come to you if you need!


Drop off locations!


We love our partners!

There is still time to join these good people and partner with us and tickets are on sale NOW! Be a part of the change and come enjoy 3 rocking bands, a spectacular view of the Ashley River, good company, and delicious, organic beer.

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!

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Charleston Waterkeeper
PO Box 29
Charleston, SC 29402
United States


We caught up with one of our all time favorite conservation warriors!

HP: Why do you choose to support Charleston Waterkeeper?

Mary Edna: In 2012 I began to get sick when I swam in James Island Creek, so I went to every group in town to see if they could help me figure out what was polluting the waterway. Charleston Waterkeeper was the only responsive reply to the dilemma! Now they use my dock to monitor the bacteria causing the demise of our creek. It is a long arduous battle involving local authorities and DHEC in the cleanup of this favorite recreational activity. Only twice this year was it safe to jump in the brackish flow and explore my swimmable neighborhood. Aquatic exercise is a delight and dolphins have muscled by more than once. You can hear the shrimp clicking and witness birds above. Canoeing has allowed me to explore further reaches of one of the dirtiest creeks in South Carolina. Charleston Waterkeeper is leading the way to clean it up for future generations to enjoy. 

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We caught up with longtime friend of Andrew’s and the Vice Chair of Charleston Waterkeeper’s Board and here is what she has to say:

Andrew embodies the attributes of a Waterkeeper and we are very lucky to have him as OUR waterway watchdog.

  • He has passion – his love for surfing, swimming, paddling, and celebrating the beauty and vibrance of our waterways fuels his dedication and drive to protect them.
  • He is thorough – over our six years of working together I have admired Andrew’s ability to lean on his lawyerly attention to detail while not losing the agility and spontaneity needed to be an effective advocate.
  • He connects – while Andrew stands firm when he stands up for clean water protection, he is also an astute observer and listener, able to navigate solutions by fostering trust and a true spirit of collaboration.
  • And he’s fun – Andrew knows that these are tough, long-term fights: whether working to curb stormwater runoff, adapt to a warming climate, identify and eliminate sources of nurdles and emerging pollutants, or press DHEC to enforce public health protections, it takes endurance and persistence to prevail. Andrew’s sense of humor and joy sustains us and attracts others to join the cause.


10 years in and he’s only just begun. Thank you, Andrew, for being our Charleston Waterkeeper!

– Alys Campaigne, CWK Board Vice Chair.

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We caught up with longtime supporter, Walker Layne!

HP: Why do you choose to support Charleston Waterkeeper?

WL:  I lived in Charleston in the mid-1990’s as a student at CofC and moved back in 2015 following a six-year stint in New York City. Coming from NYC, I returned with a completely different perspective as to just how fortunate we are to have such a pristine coastal environment, how fragile these areas are, and how important it is that we have the appropriate organizations in place to ensure that the health of these environments is preserved for future generations. I truly believe that with the proper amount of education, every resident of Charleston would see the need for protecting the health of our waterways and CWK works tirelessly to provide the oversight, stewardship and guidance needed to accomplish this mission so it was a natural fit. 

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

WL: Stalking redfish through the marsh during a full moon tide as the sun rises.

HP: What is your favorite waterway in Charleston?

WL: Impossible to answer as they are all interconnected and equally important to the health of the ecosystem. But the intracoastal heading north from Dewees Island is pretty special!!!

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

WL: I am supportive of the growth of Charleston and believe that we need to embrace it and work with developers, not just try to fight them, to ensure that our city is developed in a responsible and thoughtful manner. Growth is not a bad thing and it is going to happen, whether we like it or not.