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Merryman Leaves Catawba Riverkeeper to go to Maryland

Merryman Leaves Catawba Riverkeeper to go to Maryland


David Merryman will be leaving the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation at the end of March to move to Maryland.

Merryman Leaves Catawba Riverkeeper to go to Maryland

David Merryman

March 14, 2012 (Charlotte, NC) – The Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation, a non-profit environmental organization that advocates for the protection, enhancement, and enjoyment of the Catawba River, announced today that Riverkeeper David Merryman will be leaving to work as an environmental scientist in southern Maryland.  The move to Maryland will allow David to continue his focus on protecting our natural resources while living closer to his family.

“Under David’s leadership, the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation has continued its efforts to protect water quality & quantity in a region where 1.8 million people depend on the River for drinking water.  Some of David’s key accomplishments – stopping the illegal discharge of partially treated and untreated sewage into Lake Wylie, activating hundreds of citizens in opposing the storage of toxic coal ash in ponds along the Catawba, and discovering fish tissue contamination and instigating the posting of fish consumption advisories for the protection of public health in North and South Carolina – have without question resulted in a healthier River for our community,” stated CRF Board Chairman Michael Lindsey on David’s service with the organization.

CRF Executive Director Rick Gaskins commented that “We regret losing the talent and experience David brought to the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation and it will be difficult to replace him, but we wish him well in his future endeavors.  David brought passion, scientific expertise, and the ability to communicate to his work as Riverkeeper and we will be looking for similar abilities in a new Riverkeeper.  The search for a new Riverkeeper will begin immediately.”  (For more Information about the job opening, click here.) 

“My time as Riverkeeper has allowed me the experience of working with wonderful people here in the Catawba River basin,” said Merryman.  “I’m so proud of the work this organization accomplishes year-in and year-out; and I know the vision of the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation with its staff, its board, and its heart-and-soul volunteers will continue to be one of the most pro-active and goal-attaining environmental organizations in the Carolinas.”

During the interim period between David’s departure and the hiring of the new full-time Riverkeeper, Rick Gaskins will serve as the Riverkeeper, as well as the Executive Director.  Throughout most of CRF’s history, the same person has served as Riverkeeper and Executive Director, so this will not be a new situation for CRF.  Rick Gaskins has degrees in engineering and law, and he is familiar with the issues that David is working on as Riverkeeper.  CRF Board Chair Michael Lindsey commented that “CRF is fortunate to have a person (Rick Gaskins) who is able, with the help of CRF’s other staff and volunteers, to step in to continue those projects until a new full-time Riverkeeper is hired.”  In addition, Merryman indicated he will continue to assist Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation with on-going efforts to protect the Catawba-Wateree River basin to ensure a smooth transition.

For additional information:

Contact:   Rick Gaskins, Executive Director 

Phone:      704.679.9494


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Tell your Riverkeeper if you see:

  • Sewage Overflows
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Click here to fill out a pollution reportor to report water pollution to Catawba Riverkeeper by phone, call 1-888-679-9494 or 704-679-9494.  In addition, to informing your Riverkeeper, you should also report spills or contamination to federal, state and local environmental officials.

To report South Carolina water pollution call 1-888-481-0125.

To report North Carolina spills or fish kills, call your local regional Department of Environment & Natural Resources office during normal business hours (704-663-1699 for most Catawba basin areas or (828) 296-4500 for Burke, Caldwell, McDowell and other mountain counties) or 800-858-0368 after hours.  (For more information on NC spill reporting, click here)

715 N. Church St., Suite 120 . Charlotte, NC 28202 . Phone: 704.679.9494 . Fax: 704.679.9559