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

Lane Kennedy joined the Waterkeeper team as an intern in the Spring of 2015. She is currently studying at the College of Charleston, with a focus in the natural sciences. Lane is involved in many different aspects of Charleston Waterkeeper, each of which she approaches with a combined sense of insight and creativity. We hope you enjoy getting to know one of our outstanding interns in this new Saloon Session!


What is your connection to the water? Why intern with Charleston Waterkeeper?
I’m studying to become a Marine Biologist, aiming for a doctorate! My minors are in Physics and Environmental Studies. I SCUBA dive when I get the chance, and I spend every summer by the sea. I became an intern for Charleston Waterkeeper through the Bonner Leader Program at CofC. I chose to reach out to CWK because environmental conservation means the most to me, and we are encouraged to find an cause that is important to us. I love interning with CWK because I love the people, I love everything I’m learning, and I love protecting the Earth’s water.

Tell us about the Bonner Program and what being a Bonner Leader means to you.
I started as a Bonner Leader at the College of Charleston as a freshman. The Bonner Leader Program is a diverse group of students committed to service, leadership, and social justice. As a Bonner, I am committed to serve one nonprofit organization of my choice for all four years of college. Through the program, we have weekly meetings that focus on the development of leadership and facilitation skills, and discussions and education on relevant social justice issues. The Bonner Program is my home away from home, and in it, I have found some of my best friends. Bonner is a safe space where I can always find support and advice for whatever I may be going through. The Bonner Leader Program has given me access to opportunities I could never have imagined, such as interning for Charleston Waterkeeper.

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Where can we find you when you’re not in school, interning, or volunteering? What’s your favorite way to spend your free time?
You can find me with my friends, playing the guitar, napping in parks, and staying fit with yoga. When we get the chance, my friends and I love to get together and make home-cooked meals and have family dinner nights. When I am home in North Carolina, I can be found cuddling with kittens or biking the local trails. Achieving my Bonner responsibilities, being in the Honors College, and having one major and two minors doesn’t leave me with much free time, so I make sure to spend it taking care of my mind and body.

What is your favorite part of interning with CWK? What gets you most excited?
I love being part of Charleston Waterkeeper. Every day I go into work, I know that the work I do is appreciated and important to CWK. I get to put my own ideas and creativity into almost everything that I do. I’ve met so many people, I’ve learned so much along the way, and I can’t wait to be a part of whatever CWK does next.

What’s something quirky about you that others may not know?
My family and I are obsessed with cats. Over my lifetime, my family has cared for 10 cats, and the most we have ever had in our household at once was 8 cats. All of the cats that stay with us are given Hawai’ian names. Our two newest kittens are named Kohu’ole and Keonimana, Kohu and Keoni for short.

Anything else you would like to share?
If there’s anything I’ve learned in college and my experiences thus far, it’s that life is too short to not pursue your passions. Shape your life around what matters to you, and don’t hold yourself back. Also, fun fact: the resting heart rate of a sea turtle is one beat every nine minutes.

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On October 23, 2015, Charleston Waterkeeper’s Staff Scientist travelled to Greenville, SC, to attend the 2015 South Carolina Marine Educators Association (SCMEA)’s Annual Conference. SCMEA is a non-profit organization that aims to improve and expand marine education in South Carolina. SCMEA holds an annual conference intended to keep members up-to-date on the latest resources available. The 2015 conference was held from October 23-25 in Greenville, SC, at the Roper Mountain Science Center. Charleston Waterkeeper was invited by the SCMEA Board of Directors to give a presentation about Charleston Waterkeeper’s watershed education work. Here, Cheryl recaps the experience.

During the conference, I gave a presentation on the value of our Recreational Water Quality Monitoring Program and how it serves as an asset to SCMEA’s membership base and the Charleston community. Click here to see my full presentation: CarmackC_SCMEA. However, the greatest value of attending the SCMEA annual conference comes not from presenting, but from the abundance of new information, resources, and contacts obtained. SCMEA members provide a wealth of knowledge regarding environmental and marine education all across the state of South Carolina.


Not all marine educators work in a traditional classroom setting. I attended sessions led by marine educators from the Watershed Ecology Center (through USC Upstate), Patriot’s Point, South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium, DNR’s ACE Basin NERR, and graduate students from Clemson University. It is inspiring to hear about the variety of programs being offered by passionate educators from across a wide span of backgrounds. Presentations included ways to incorporate art into your lessons, simplifying difficult concepts using a story, and a day camp dedicated to teaching kids all about the importance of our oceans. Learn more about these efforts by visiting the websites provided above. These hard-working folks are dedicated to providing the necessary tools to help ensure conscious stewardship of our state’s natural resources for generations to come.

Learn more about Charleston Waterkeeper’s Education Program here.

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.


© 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!


© Brandon Lata Photography


© 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!



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!


Carter first reached out to Charleston Waterkeeper to see about getting involved this past April. We sent him a list of upcoming events and activities and were pleasantly surprised when he signed up for all of them! Since then, Carter has continued to surprise us with his excitement about our mission and willingness to get involved as much as possible. We hope you enjoy getting to know another one of our outstanding volunteers in this new Saloon Session!


-Tell us briefly about your background.

I was born in Annapolis, MD and grew up sailing, fishing, and crabbing in the Chesapeake Bay. I sailed competitively when I went to high school in Annapolis, so I was on the water every day after school. The Chesapeake is an amazing body of water, but one whose watershed includes one of the most densely populated parts of the country. Because of that, the bay is a great case study for almost any water quality issue you can imagine. My dad works for the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program, so having an expert on the bay’s water quality issues in my family definitely gave me a heightened proclivity towards natural resource stewardship. My family moved to Mount Pleasant when I was a senior in high school, so Charleston has been my home base for the last three years. The amazement I felt with the flora and fauna of the Lowcountry when I moved to the area in 2012 has only grown since then. Charleston sits in a world renowned pocket of biodiversity that is (compared to where I come from in the mid-Atlantic) relatively undisturbed, and what really makes the region special is its estuaries. I don’t want us in the Lowcountry to make the same mistakes that damaged the Chesapeake Bay years ago, so that’s my driving motivation for working on water quality issues!


-You are currently studying for a degree in Biology. Tell us more about your studies and your specific interests in the field.

I’ve always known I want to have some sort of environmental career after college, so Biology seemed like a good way to get a strong foundation in the natural sciences. I think most Biology curricula are severely lacking the mathematics it takes to truly make sense of what you learn in an ecology class though, so I’ve made room for some statistics, math, and computer science classes to augment the major. I’m interested in modeling populations, so these three disciplines come into play when you 1) make inferences from biological data (statistics), 2) turn these inferences into equations that describe what you are studying (mathematics), and 3) build these equations into a software program that is a “model” of some natural phenomenon (computer science). This type of work is done in academia as well as for government agencies such as the US Fish and Wildlife service, so I hope to end up in one of those arenas someday.


-Why did you choose to volunteer with Charleston Waterkeeper?

I read The Riverkeepers by John Cronin and Robert F. Kennedy last spring and had known of the Charleston Waterkeeper for a couple years, so I decided to shoot Cheryl an email and see how I could get involved! The organization had lots of stimulating volunteer opportunities to choose from, so I pretty much just did them all and eventually ended up being a Field Investigator for the summer. That led to getting into the lab where I learned how to test for fecal bacteria in water quality samples, which was my favorite activity of the whole summer! It’s easy to stay motivated while volunteering because the Waterkeeper has such amazing staff and volunteers, and it doesn’t get much more rewarding then spending your day trying to improve your surroundings. Also, how could you beat the early morning boat rides around Charleston collecting samples?


-We are inspired by the many ways in which you are involved in the community. Would you mind sharing some of your favorite experiences volunteering/interning in the environmental field?

My most memorable experience in the environmental field would have to be in 2011 when I lobbied Maryland State Senator Jim Mathias on behalf of my high school environmental club in support of Governor Martin O’Malley’s offshore wind energy bill. Senator Mathias introduced me to the Senate floor where I tried to make my point about why Maryland needs offshore wind energy. The bill didn’t get past that year but it did the following year, so I like to think I helped a bit with that! Since then, I’ve interned for the Robert Lunz Chapter of the Sierra Club and the College of Charleston’s Office of Sustainability, both of which have acquainted me with Charleston’s environmental “scene” and lent different perspectives on the nature of environmental activism. All these experiences have rounded out my education by introducing me to the “non-scientific” aspects of environmentalism.

-What’s something unique that your fellow volunteers may not know about you?

I have studied and played jazz guitar for the past several years and was part of the Wando High School Jazz Band and the College of Charleston’s Jazz Guitar Ensemble. I was also in a reggae band in high school called “The Westerlies”!

-Anything else you’d like to share?

I would encourage anyone interested in the Charleston Waterkeeper to volunteer with them because I have learned so much so far and have had some very memorable experiences!