The Catawba Riverkeeper protects, advocates for, and educates about the Catawba River through a variety of programs administered by CRF staff and a network of volunteers. Information about these programs is provided below.
The Catawba Riverkeeper Staff
Knowledgable, experienced and dedicated best describe the Catawba Riverkeeper staff. Led by Executive Director Emilee Syrewicze, their primary goal is to fulfill the principles of the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation mission statement: Advocacy, Education and Protection for the Catawba-Wateree River basin.
Emilee joined Catawba Riverkeeper in 2015. Using her previous non-profit experience she is innovating ways to advance our mission and shape our future. Catawba Riverkeeper Sam Perkins provides the pivotal role as program director for the foundation’s efforts. Working closely with scientists, politicians, citizens and others who can affect the health and future of the basin, Sam is the person who represents Catawba Riverkeeper on the front lines day in and day out. For the public he provides accurate, science-based information about your water and the issues affecting it. Associate Director Diana Daniels coordinates several facets of Catawba Riverkeeper’s effort in marketing, events and grant-based fundraising. She also plays a key role in CRF communications with our members. Lauren Kim is the newest addition to the Catawba Riverkeeper staff and leads our volunteer outreach and coordination. Lauren’s main goal is to organize and support our Lakekeepers, Covekeepers and others who step up to further Catawba Riverkeeper’s mission. Our small but energetic staff relies on the vital contributions of the many people who give freely of their time as CRF volunteers. Much of Catawba Riverkeeper’s work dependents on knowing and observing the state of the Catawba-Wateree basin. Since our staff can’t be everywhere it is essential for us to rely on our volunteer base to be the “eyes and ears” of the Foundation.
The Catawba Riverkeeper sponsors and/or participates in various stream, river and lake cleanup efforts. For more information about the annual Riversweep event on Lake Wylie, click here. For information about the Islandkeepers and Adopt-an-Island cleanup program, click here.
The Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation seeks to educate the public and public officials about issues affecting the Catawba River through a variety of activities ranging from field research & publication of reports to one-on-one meetings, press conferences, and on-the-water educational programs.
The Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation is happy to provide a speaker to groups to talk about issues relating to the Catawba River. Depending upon the topic requested and the size of the group, the speaker may be a seasoned volunteer or a member of the Foundation staff. Although we do not charge for presentations, we request that groups consider making a donation to the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation. To request a speaker, please contact our office (704-679-9494) or email Emilee Syrewicze (email@example.com). For an example of a presentation about CRF and current issues, Click Here.
Kayaking Program & Family Eco-Tours
The Catawba Riverkeeper believes that it is essential to the future of the Catawba River to bring as many people as possible into contact with the Catawba River. People who come into contact with the River will have a greater understanding of the River and care more about protecting the River. Thus, the Catawba Riverkeeper recently began a Youth Kayaking Program and conducts periodic
Eco-Tours in different parts of the Catawba Basin. The Youth Kayaking program was made possible by a grant from REI, which enabled the purchase of 20 kayaks and related equipment. The Riverkeeper takes groups of youths paddling on the water throughout the summer months. More information about the Youth Kayaking Program is available at Catawba Riverkeeper Environmental and Education Kayaking Program. The Catawba River Eco-Tours include the Spider Lily Eco-Tour through the world's largest collection of spider lilies in late May or early June, as well as a fall leaf eco-tour. These trips are suitable for all ages and abilities as long as the participants are in reasonably good health. Information about the eco-tours are available by clicking on the following links: Fall Leaf Tour, or Spider Lily Eco-Tour.
We periodically publish a printed newsletter and we send out electronic newsletters approximately twice a month. Past newsletters can be viewed by clicking on the following link: Newsletters.
As an advocate for the Catawba River, Catawba Riverkeeper uses various tools to try to affect public and private actions that affect the River. These tools include commenting on proposed public actions, participating in new rulemaking, testifying at public hearings, organizing community meetings, meeting with public officials, reporting illegal activity, recognizing companies and individuals that are examples of responsible environmental behavior, and litigating against individuals and entities that take actions to harm the Catawba River.
Catawba Riverkeeper organizes and participates in various other events ranging from environmental film festivals to tree planting days. Please monitor the calendar section of our website for more information about upcoming events.
More information about CRF:
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP PROTECT THE CATAWBA RIVER AND WATEREE RIVER, CLICK HERE.