We defend and restore Charleston's waterways so you can fish and swim without fear of pollution

Charleston Waterkeeper

Charleston Waterkeeper was founded in 2009 to protect and restore Charleston’s waterways for our community and for future generations. We do that through an effective mix of boots-on-the-water stewardship and data-driven advocacy designed to protect your right to clean water for fishing and swimming. Simply put, we are watchdogs, stewards, and defenders for clean water.  

We are watchdogs standing guard to stop pollution. 

We test local water quality to arm you with important data about when and where it is safe to swim. We review and when necessary enforce state and federal pollution permits to hold polluters accountable. We patrol local waterways for pollution and report illegal activity to local, state, and federal authorities. We empower a team of citizen-scientists to keep watch over the health your waterways and alert us to pollution issues.

We are stewards teaching conservation through action to cleanup and restore local waterways.

We organize teams of volunteers through our Volunteer Corp to haul trash out of your creeks and marshes. We partner with local conservation agencies to provide you with opportunities to help recycle oyster shell, build new oyster reefs, and restore habitat. We collect and safely dispose of marine sewage from boaters to keep your waterways clean and healthy. We train citizen-scientists to monitor the health of local waterways and serve as clean water ambassadors to inspire local stewardship. We transplant spartina grass seedlings to support local educational and conservation programs. We educate your friends and neighbors so they can act to protect clean water too. 

We are defenders holding polluters accountable to make sure your waterways are fishable and swimmable.

We stand on the front lines for clean water pressing local, state, and federal officials to cleanup your creeks, protect your wetlands, stop plastic pollution, protect your local communities, and enact clean water policies. We testify before local and state decision makers to give your waterways a voice. We stand up and act when authorities won’t act and use the power of state and federal law to hold polluters accountable for their actions. We educate and empower local activists to speak up for your waterways and your community to help guarantee clean water for all.


2020 Press Round Up Jurisdiction Map

Waterkeeper Alliance

Waterkeeper Alliance strengthens and grows a global network of grassroots leaders protecting everyone’s right to clean water.

The Waterkeeper movement was started by a band of blue-collar fishermen on New York’s Hudson River in 1966 because industrial polluters were destroying their way of life. Their tough, grassroots brand of environmental activism sparked the Hudson’s miraculous recovery and inspired others to launch Waterkeeper groups around the world.

Today, Waterkeeper Alliance unites more than 300 Waterkeeper groups that are on the front lines of the planetary environmental crisis, patrolling and protecting more than 2.5 million square miles of rivers, lakes, and coastal waterways on six continents.

From Alaska to the Himalayas, the Great Lakes to Australia, the Waterkeeper movement defends the fundamental human right to drinkable, fishable, and swimmable waters, and combines firsthand knowledge of local waterways with an unwavering commitment to the rights of their communities.

Whether they’re on the water tracking down polluters, in courtrooms enforcing environmental laws, advocating in town meetings or teaching in classrooms, Waterkeepers speak for the waters they defend—with the collective strength of Waterkeeper Alliance and the backing of their local communities.