Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation and the Catawba River
The Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation is a non-profit citizens group formed and committed to protecting one of North and South Carolina's most precious resources, the Catawba-Wateree River Basin.
"We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one." - Jacques Cousteau
These words by scientist, explorer and conservationist Jacques Cousteau describe the connection between water and life, one that is mirrored in the relationship of the resource of water and those who depend on it. They also remind us how easy it is to lose sight of important threads that bond our lives to the world we live in. If we have learned nothing else during our last one hundred years of exploiting natural resources it is how careless mankind can be as we take what we need from the earth. If we're to ensure there's enough water for our children and our children's children in the future we must plan and work together now to make sure our water resource will last into the next century and beyond.
The Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation advocates for the Catawba-Wateree River Basin because this is where we live, work and play. To do that we need safe, clean water. Right now over eighty percent of the people who live in the Catawba basin get their water from the Catawba River and its lakes. The Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation acts as a guardian for the three hundred miles of the Catawba-Wateree River basin against the forces, the people, the development, the circumstances that threaten a resource we in North and South Carolina depend on everyday.
The Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation exists as part of a larger network of non-profits within the Waterkeeper® Alliance organization. Spread throughout the world, these 200-plus groups provide a shield of advocacy for a resource that cannot protect itself against human or natural forces. Forces that could eventually shape a world without enough of the clean, safe water we need to survive.
Members of the Foundation are volunteers donating their time, money and effort to support the small, overworked paid Catawba Riverkeeper staff. They are factory workers, doctors, truck drivers, teachers or retirees. They are people like you and your neighbors who know that something worth having is something worth protecting. That something essential like water must be protected and advocated for whenever and wherever it is threatened. Like most things guardianship takes money, because money affords action, encourages progress. As a non-profit the CRF is completely dependent on grants, donations and member contributions to fund a budget that supports water testing of our river, research of pollution in our lakes, investigation of sewage overflows into our streams or legal action to protect our watershed. We also organize lake and river clean-ups, citizen education programs, youth kayak activities and public hearing testimony. No single government office financially supports the CRF, it is an independently operating citizens group. However, the Foundation does support government agencies in their environmental oversight responsibilities by acting as eyes and ears at large in the battle against water pollution and preservation of the watershed.
This is the role the CRF and its members have chosen and the Catawba-Wateree River Basin is where we live our philosophy of Protection, Education and Advocacy.
"Thousands have lived without love, not one without water." - 20th Century American poet W.H. Auden
The Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation educates and advocates to protect the Catawba-Wateree River Basin's lakes, rivers and streams for everyone who depends on and enjoys them.