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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 in 2010 and 2012 listed it as a Top 10 Endangered Places in the Southeast. In 2011, Union of Concerned Scientists listed it as the 4th most stressed river in the U.S. from power plants. Recent fish advisories for unsafe levels of metals and PCBs highlight the need to do more to protect our water. We hope that you will look at the information on our website and help us protect our water.

Of Interest to Catawba Riverkeeper Right Now!

Riversweep 2008


    • Rock Hill & Lancaster, SC (9/20)
    • Mecklenburg County (9/27)
    • Mountain Island Lake Big Sweep (9/27)
    • Lake Wylie Riversweep (10/4)       Register Now at
    • Lake Norman Big Sweep (10/4)
    • Lake Hickory Big Sweep (10/4)
    • Lincoln County Big Sweep (10/11)
    • Lake Wateree Riversweep (10/11) 

    See calendar page for details.


           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.


    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?

    Page Coming


    How can you help?

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


    To learn about our plans for 2014, click here.

     Search our website

     - Looking for something you didn't find?




    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

    Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation is currently accepting applications for paid positions and unpaid student interns. 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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    Help Catawba Riverkeeper

    Your River needs you as much as you need the River

    Support Our River

    Help in other ways

    Sep 05, 2014 Catawba Riverkeeper Collects Fish Tissue for First Ever PCB Analysis on Lake James
    In collaborative effort with NC DENR, channel catfish from each arm of lake collected for complete PCB analysis
    Sep 04, 2014 On-Line Classes Available
    If you have ever wanted to learn more about the ability of ordinary citizens to stop pollution using the Clean Water Act, but haven't had time to attend one of our Covekeeper or Water Watch classes, now you is your chance to do on-line learning from the comfort of your home.
    Aug 08, 2014 Lake Wylie Alligator of 2014
    Many alligators have been seen on the Catawba River over the years, but they generally are either caught or unable to survive the winter.
    Aug 01, 2014 SCE&G Removes Almost 500,000 Tons of Coal Ash from Banks of Catawba-Wateree River
    Catawba Riverkeeper settled its lawsuit in August 2012
    Jun 23, 2014 WCNC Takes a Deeper Look at Coal Ash Waste
    NBC Charlotte I-Team Investigator, Stuart Watson, takes a deeper look into the coal ash controversy. Click on the play button on the video player below to watch this special edition of FlashPOINT (23 minutes).
    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.  

    EarthShare of North Carolina Logo


    NC Conservation Network Logo


    River Network Logo



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