The Next Chapter

After six years serving as our Executive Director and Waterkeeper, Founder Cyrus Buffum will be stepping out of his day-to-day role with the organization to serve as a member of our Board of Directors. With this transition, the organization is pleased to announce Andrew Wunderley, Esq. as Charleston’s next Waterkeeper.

Photograph by Christopher Shane

Cyrus aboard Number Two on Linning’s Creek (Photograph by Christopher Shane)

“Together, as we look ahead as an organization, I am encouraged by the strength of our foundation and the clarity of our vision. To all of our supporters, to our team (past and present), and to my friends and family, thank you. It has been one of my life’s greatest honors to serve as Charleston’s Waterkeeper and to help build this organization to what it is today. I am truly humbled, and I am truly grateful. Here’s to the future.” – Cyrus A. Buffum, Founder

In 2008, as a 23-year-old sailing instructor on Charleston Harbor, Cyrus read The Riverkeepers, the story of a group of fishermen who banded together to protect the Hudson River and their fundamental right to fish its waters. Cyrus was immediately inspired to establish a Waterkeeper organization in Charleston and set to work doing so.

Today, Charleston Waterkeeper stands as a fully operational organization with a professional staff, robust programs, and an impassioned constituency of supporters and water users.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., President of Waterkeeper Alliance, offered that, “Building a Waterkeeper organization from scratch requires vision and community support. The existence of Charleston Waterkeeper and the effectiveness of its work is a testament to Cyrus’s dedication and Charleston’s passion for its waterways.”

Walker Brock, Chairman of the Board of Directors, remarked, “We are grateful Cyrus will continue his work with the organization as a member of the Board. His vision for the organization is clear and long term, and we will benefit from his new role. In six years, he has built a strong, impactful nonprofit with very capable, professional staff, strong supporters, and a clear, meaningful mission. We are excited about the future of Charleston Waterkeeper and the perspective and expertise Andrew will bring as our next Waterkeeper.”

With this announcement, Charleston Waterkeeper will be splitting the joint Executive Director – Waterkeeper role into two, full-time positions. With Andrew’s appointment as Waterkeeper, the Board of Directors has established a committee to conduct a formal search for the organization’s next Executive Director. Cyrus will remain in his current role as Director until the organization’s next generation of executive leadership has been identified.

To read the organization’s press release announcing the transition, click here.

To read Cyrus’s letter to supporters, click here.

To read Board Chairman Walker Brock’s letter to supporters, click here.


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