CCRW Speaks Up About Water Quality

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CCRW spoke up about Water Quality at conferences and the NC Legislature last month

PHOTO: (From left to right) CCRW ED Lisa Rider, Senator Norman Sanderson, Waterkeeper Riley Lewis, Town of Beaufort Commissioner Melvin Cooper, Beaufort Citizen Logan Louis.
NC Water Resources Research Institute conference

Coastal Carolina Riverwatch’s White Oak Waterkeeper, Riley Lewis, presented on our Water Quality for Fisheries Program at last month’s NC Water Resources Research Institute conference. Her concurrent session named “Out of the Box: Creative Approaches to Community Collaboration and Engagement” allowed her to highlight the unique work of our WQ4F program and its approach to assessing water quality concerns from multiple stakeholder perspectives. Riley also participated in the conference by moderating a session for other water quality advocates.

There was incredible support for our WQ4F program from multiple different industry individuals, they really appreciated how many stakeholder groups we collaborated with. I left very inspired to continue our fisheries work and many researchers gave great insight into our top water quality issues. There is always more to know and more work to be done.

– R.Lewis

The 2023 WRRI Annual Conference was held at the NC State McKimmon Center in Raleigh, North Carolina and provided an opportunity for water quality researchers, professionals, and organizations to share their knowledge on the State’s water quality. The conference brings together all sectors and all disciplines working in water resources across North Carolina. Riley interacted with water utilities, students, consultants, academics, nonprofits, state agency staff, among many others, working across diverse fields such as stream restoration, water supply planning, stormwater management, hydrology, and community engagement.

PHOTO: Riley Lewis, CCRW White Oak Waterkeeper, presenting at the 2023 WRRI conference.
Ocean Advocacy Workshop

At this year’s Ocean Advocacy Workshop, CCRW Executive Director, Lisa Rider, joined fellow coastal environmental advocates to teach university students from across the State about impacts to the quality of water and quality of life at the coast and how to use advocacy to protect our coastal community environment. She was joined by fellow fierce advocates for environmental justice and pollution prevention for the 2023 Ocean Advocacy Workshop in Greensboro, NC.

This event was planned with maximizing student engagement in mind and I am grateful to be a part of it. It’s inspiring to meet so many young people getting involved in advocacy and seeking out educational programs and careers that will work to protect the quality of water and life in NC. I can’t think of a better way to spend a weekend and I’m looking forward to more events with this level of student engagement.”

– L.Rider

PHOTO: Lisa Rider, CCRW Executive Director, presenting to students at the 2023 OAW.
Lobby Day

CCRW staff and local water quality advocates meet with legislators in the White Oak River Basin to advocate and explain support for legislation relevant to water quality and quality of life in coastal NC. We spoke with Senator Norman Sanderson, Representative George Cleveland, Senator Michael Lazarra, Representative Carson Smith, and Representative Phil Shepard about the threats to water quality and what they can do to help.

CCRW participated as part of a state-wide Waterkeeper Lobby day where water representatives from across the state spoke up about legislative needs to protect water quality. Throughout our State we are seeing stormwater become an increasingly common issue and this threat can be exceptionally severe along the coast. Pollutants in stormwater flow directly into sensitive coastal waters and can greatly impact the swimability, drinkability, and fishability of the waters that surround our coastal communities.

PHOTO: NC Legislative Building
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