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Catawba Riverkeeper Mission Statement

We educate and advocate to protect the Catawba-Wateree River Basin's lakes, rivers and streams for everyone who depends on and enjoys them.

Two million people depend on the Catawba River and the Catawba River depends on you.
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Welcome to the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation

The Catawba River has been designated as one of America’s Most Endangered Rivers three times (#1 in 2008, #5 in 2013 and #13 in 2000). The Southern Environmental Law Center and The Union of Concerned Scientists have ranked the Catawba in nationwide Top 10 lists for stressed and endangered rivers. Fish advisories for unsafe levels of metals and PCBs highlight the need to do more to protect our water.

Water Watcher Training
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       Catawba Riverkeeper and other Waterkeepers in the region continue to be at the forefront of coal ash issues locally and nationally. Catawba Riverkeeper, represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center, initiated a series of lawsuits beginning in 2012 to require coal fired power plants to stop illegal discharges of toxic wastes from coal ash ponds and to clean up leaking coal ash ponds. The lawsuits filed in South Carolina have been settled, but Duke Energy continues to resist requests to cleanup all of its ash ponds. You can listen to a discussion about the coal ash issues on the November 19 edition of "Charlotte Talks" that included Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation Executive Director Rick Gaskins, as well as the Chair of the NC Coal Ash Management Commission and a Vice President of Duke Energy at  Additional information about the threats to our drinking water from coal ash can be found at

Other News.....


The Catawba River Basin

The Catawba River Basin is made up of eleven lakes, the river between and the tributaries of streams, creeks and flows into them. Click on a section of the map below for more information about the lake or area you are interested in.

Linville to Lookout map

Lake Norman mapMIL map

Lake Wylie map

Landsford to Rocky Creek map

Lake Wateree map

Wateree basin beyond Lake Wateree


Information About the Catawba River Basin


How healthy is the Catawba basin 

 •  What fish advisories are currently in effect?
•   Which water segments are considered impaired?
•   Where are the sources of pollution?


Why you should care about the health of the Catawba basin?


What are the major water issues in the basin?

•  Coal Ash
•  Sediment Run-off
•  Mercury contamination
•  Stormwater
•  Sludge and CAFO's


What are the recreational options?

•   Paddling
•   Hiking & access to scenic spots
•   Sailing
•   Power boating 


Who should you contact about different types of problems?

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How can you help?

•   Contribute money
•   Volunteer
•   Donate a boat or other item
•   Report a problem
•   Advocate for the River


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The Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that works to educate people about the Catawba-Wateree River, to protect the River, and to advocate for the River.  It is a big job and we need your help.  The Catawba-Wateree basin includes approximately 5000 miles of waterways flowing through 11 major lakes.  The basin includes portions of 24 counties in North Carolina and South Carolina.  Please read the upcoming events for some opportunities to participate in efforts to protect our River. 




Job Openings

More information about job openings is available here.


The CRF site's banner photographs have been generously contributed by 

Bill Stokes and Randy Miller.



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Your River needs you as much as you need the River

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Help in other ways

Nov 17, 2015 Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation Launches Partnership with South Carolina 4-H and 4-H Science on the Move
New partnership aims to develop robust water education program highlighting the Catawba-Wateree River Basin.
Nov 16, 2015 UNCC Students Collect Over 200 Pounds of Trash
Student volunteers clean-up coves near Riverbend Access on Mountain Island Lake.
Nov 11, 2015 York County Planning Commission considering a way to limit development around Lake Wylie and its watershed
The planning commission reviewed the proposed Lake Wylie Watershed Overlay map as a means of limiting development near the Lake.
Oct 20, 2015 Violations of Standards? Change the Standards!
Bill 765 eyes changing groundwater standards for metals associated with coal ash after hundreds of violations around Duke Energy coal ash sites
Oct 19, 2015 VETO Bill 765
Worst environmental rollback bill in years is on Gov. McCrory's desk and will become law without his veto
More news…
Report Pollution in the Catawba River

Help protect your River! 

Tell your Riverkeeper if you see:

  • Sewage Overflows
  • Failure to control sediment from construction sites
  • Illegal clearing of buffer areas
  • Fish kills 
  • Unpermitted discharges
  • Other issues that concern you

Click here to fill out a pollution report or 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)


The Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation is a proud member of EarthShare North Carolina, the North Carolina Conservation Network, River Network and the Waterkeeper Alliance.  It also in in an alliance with Clean Air Carolina to address issues, such as sprawl, that cause air and water problems.

Clean Air / Clean Water Alliance Logo

NC Conservation Network Logo


EarthShare of North Carolina Logo


4-H Clover leaf logo


River Network Logo


SC 4H Science on the Move logo



421 Minuet Ln Ste 205 . Charlotte, NC 28217-2784 . Phone: 704.679.9494 . Fax: 704.679.9559