Waccamaw Riverkeeper

Job Information


Winyah Rivers Foundation, Inc. (doing business as Winyah Rivers Alliance) is seeking a full-time Waccamaw RIVERKEEPER®. The Waccamaw RIVERKEEPER® is a full-time paid advocate for the Waccamaw River and adjacent lands in the Winyah Bay watershed in northeast South Carolina and southeast North Carolina.

The Waccamaw RIVERKEEPER® is an employee of Winyah Rivers Alliance, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The position reports to the Executive Director and works with the team of Riverkeepers and staff at Winyah Rivers Alliance. The position is based at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC.

Roles & Responsibilities

  • Manage and implement the Waccamaw RIVERKEEPER® Program
  • Maintain an on-the-river presence to investigate pollution sources, support monitoring efforts, provide education, and raise public awareness of river issues
  • Coordinate with local, state and federal agencies to stay abreast of actions affecting the Waccamaw River and watershed
  • Educate the public regarding the work of Winyah Rivers Alliance


1. Serve as a full-time public advocate for the Waccamaw River and assigned territory, observing, documenting, and reporting environmentally harmful activity, and instituting enforcement action or encouraging Winyah Rivers Alliance to pursue litigation where appropriate.

2. Be aware of potential fundraising mechanisms and provide technical assistance and input as needed to assist the Executive Director with fundraising, including membership development, river event planning, as well as preparation of major grant proposals.

3. Establish and maintain cooperative relationships with environmental groups, governmental agencies, public officials, and academia for sustainable stewardship.

4. Educate, engage and empower citizens in environmental stewardship, our programs and environmental rule making and advocacy.

5. Serve as the official spokesperson for the Waccamaw Riverkeeper Program, including interviews and presentations to public agencies, government officials, foundations, civic groups and the media on a variety of topics some of which may be controversial and technically complex.

6. Prepare technical and/or advocacy position papers. Be prepared to defend these potentially controversial positions in a professional and technically justifiable manner.

7. Empower and motivate an expanded number of informed citizens who can identify water quality problems; work with the appropriate agencies to fix the problem; and bring attention to the problem if it is not fixed or if there is a successful resolution.

8. Recruit, train and maintain a motivated and viable volunteer network which can carry out monitoring duties, attend hearings, give presentations and serve as the “eyes and ears” of their local communities.

9. Work with local, state and federal agencies to enhance the enforcement and compliance of existing environmental rules and regulations and identify areas needing new and improved regulation.

10. Accomplish additional tasks as assigned by the Executive Director.


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
1.  Minimum education level of bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience. Working knowledge of environmental science, law, or related field.
2.  Experience in fundraising, including donor cultivation, event planning, membership development, and writing grant proposals.
3.  Experience piloting and handling small boats up to 16 feet. Knowledge of GPS.
4.  Ability to work with diverse groups and provide a liaison role among scientific community, government agencies, conservation groups, and residents and visitors.
5.  Ability to prepare public statements and work effectively with the media.
6.  Ability to comprehend and interpret environmental protection rules and regulations.
7.  Proficient in word processing, PowerPoint, basic photography skills and knowledge of, or ability to learn, technology required for water quality and habitat monitoring and surveillance.
8.  Excellent written and verbal communication skills with the ability to motivate citizens.
9.  Ability to work independently and as part of a team and manage multiple priorities.
10.  Strong personal environmental ethic.

Physical and Other Demands
Requires monitoring by air,water and land with frequent travel and occasional overnight travel.  Must have a reliable vehicle for travel within the watershed. Position requires some weekend and evening work and often long workdays. Must be able to operate, load and tow a 16-foot boat and trailer.  Must be able to lift up to 50 pounds.


Salary commensurate with experience.

Benefits include health, dental and vision insurance and paid vacation.

Application Instructions

Please send resume and letter of introduction to Debra Buffkin at ExecutiveDirector@winyahrivers.org. No phone calls please.

About Winyah Rivers Alliance

Our mission is to protect, preserve, monitor and revitalize the health of the lands and waters of the greater Winyah Bay watershed.

We are convinced that the preservation of our local rivers and watersheds would best be served by hiring advocates to protect our water.

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