Water quality of Waccamaw River remains in good condition

Coastal Carolina University held an annual water quality data conference Thursday to recap the data that's been gathered in the Waccamaw River over the past year.

Water quality volunteers and river keepers say the Waccamaw River, which runs from North Carolina to Georgetown, is in great condition.

"The bridge that we walk under, it was built in 1937. My mother told me she came to the day they dedicated it. We just enjoy the serenity of the boardwalk, hear the birds chirp, and see the black water flowing; it's beautiful," said Harold Anderson, who frequents the river.

The Waccamaw River used to be used primarily for transportation, but now people go to kayak, fish and even swim; using it more for recreation.

"There's a lot you can do. Harold, he fishes and brings the grandchildren out here and so do our boys. They enjoy the river with their boats coming to the marina," said Carol Anderson.

During the conference they shared the history of the river, and what they've learned over the past year about the health of it.

"Most of it is in excellent condition, and we want to keep it that way," said Susan Libes, Waccamaw watershed academy CCU director.

Libes says they need everyone who uses the river to play a roll in stopping contaminants from getting into the river.

"Picking up pet waste is very important. The fecal matter can be washed into the waterways and carry bacteria with it. Another thing people can do is plant rain gardens at their house," said Libes.

Rain played an important role this year in the river.

"This summer there wasn't a whole lot of problems with bacteria because we had a lot of rain," said Kelly Davis, assistant river keeper.

The Andersons are thankful for the volunteers and organizations helping protect the river.

"Be proud of it, and be able to pass it down to the next generation, that's the beauty of it," said Harold Anderson.

About 30 volunteers work hand-in-hand with Storm Water Management experts in Horry and Georgetown counties to gather data and chemical measurements.

The river keepers say their goal is to protect the river by making sure development is done in a sustainable way.