Meet the Riverkeeper!
Brandon Jones is THE Catawba Riverkeeper. Cool job title, right?
But what does that really mean?
It means Brandon’s full-time job is to take care of the Catawba River, its lakes, and streams. As Riverkeeper, Brandon is the chief scientist and advocate at the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation. He coordinates the organization’s testing, sampling, research, and legislative initiatives. He’s also the primary contact for all citizen concerns.
How does one become a Riverkeeper?
Brandon was inspired to protect our environment when he studied Environmental Science in college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As he says, “I took an environmental law course as an undergraduate at Chapel Hill, which was my first introduction to environmental protection. After that class I knew I wanted to work protecting water.” He’s also working on his Masters in Earth Science from UNC Charlotte, focusing on hydrology.
As a native of Gaston County, and now a resident of Charlotte, working every day to protect his watershed seemed like a perfect fit. When he’s not in the office, you’ll find Brandon, his fiancée Andrea, and their two dogs exploring the great outdoors from the Carolinas to the Grand Canyon!
You can be a Riverkeeper too!
Maybe not as your full-time job, but there are lots of ways you can help take care of our local waterways. Here are just a few examples:
Pick up trash – wherever you are! Whether you are removing litter from lakes or streams or simply picking up trash from your neighborhood street, you are doing good for our waterways.
- Volunteer for Catawba Riversweep on Saturday, October 3 – You can be part of a basin-wide effort to clean up our lakes and streams all on one Saturday morning! Find a site near you and sign up today!
- Participate in the Dirty Money Challenge – Catawba Riverkeeper’s online fundraising campaign/trash pick -up effort. For every dollar you raise, you pledge to pick up one bag of trash.
Become a member of the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation (if you aren’t already)! Members financially support the work of the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation. Membership contributions fund things like education programs for youth and adults, kayak trips, cleanups, water sampling, and advocacy. Being a member is fun, too! In addition to discounts on eco-tours and merchandise, members are invited to exclusive outings!
Speak up! When you have the opportunity to share your thoughts on proposed projects or legislation that impacts water quality, do it! Find your representative and let them know you care about protecting our waterways. When it’s time to vote, pick the people you trust to protect our environment.
Get to know Brandon and the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation by following our work on social media or by subscribing to our eNewsletter! We hope to see you at a cleanup, a (virtual for now) volunteer training, or on an eco-tour!