Community Member

Winyah Rivers Alliance

Conway, South Carolina

Winyah Rivers Foundation, Inc., doing business as Winyah Rivers Alliance, is a coalition of riverkeepers whose mission is to protect, preserve, monitor and revitalize the health of the lands and waters of the greater Winyah Bay watershed of the Carolinas. The watershed is, the third largest on the East Coast. Incorporated as a nonprofit in 2001, Winyah Rivers Alliance began as a grassroots organization to watch over the watersheds of the Lower Pee Dee Basin, representing a drainage area of 11,700 square miles that includes the Waccamaw, Lumber, Little Pee Dee, Great Pee Dee, Sampit, Lynches and Black rivers. The organization encourages stewardship of river resources through education and activism, to include river cleanups, community volunteer water monitoring and conferences; campaigns to fight against water-polluting fossil fuels and meat production companies; and work with partners to preserve and protect lands around rivers for conservation and recreation.

Waccamaw Riverkeeper and Coastal Carolina University professors and students banded together to clean a ditch by the Coastal Science Center (photo courtesy of Winyah Rivers Alliance Facebook page)

The Alliance, based in Conway, S.C., manifests its vision of clean water and healthy communities through the work of its Executive Director, Deputy Director, Board of Directors, staff, contractors and volunteers. Partners include state, county and local governments, other nonprofits and private funders. The also partner with Francis Marion University, Coastal Carolina University and University of North Carolina, Pembrook to train volunteers in using environmental testing equipment to collect water samples. Volunteers also assist with river cleanups, collecting close to 7,500 pieces of trash during events in 2023. On the advocacy front, the Alliance took on Dominion Energy and Duke Energy – and won. A six-year battle against a methane gas pipeline ended in 2020 when the companies scrapped the project. The Alliance organized vigorous protests against the project as environmentally unsafe and unjust to the diverse communities living along the impacted waterways.

For more information:

Georgetown County to encourage exploration with inaugural Outdoor Festival – WCBD-TV 2, September 2023

Group educates about importance of swamps for Waccamaw Week – ABC 15 News, March 2023

New tests reveal high concentration of PFAS ‘forever chemicals’ in NC river – Southern Environmental Law Center, February 2022

Lumber Riverkeeper fights to keep waterway safe and clean – Southern Environmental Law Center, August 2021

Dorothy Terry

Dorothy Terry

Dorothy Terry is a journalist by profession, having worked as a daily newspaper reporter on both coasts and a contributing writer for several national magazines. She is a former Congressional press secretary and has worked as a communications manager and consultant for corporations and nonprofits.


Debra Buffkin, Executive Director


Social Media

Climate Impacts

Drought, Flooding, Heat, Wildfires

Environmental Justice Concerns

Air Pollution, Fighting Development/Destruction of Wildlife/Extinction of Species, Fracking/Oil and Gas Development/Pipelines, Groundwater Contamination, Hazardous/Toxic Sites, Incinerator/Dumping/Landfill, Industrial Agriculture/Animal Waste, Lead Contamination, Logging/Biomass, Mining, Noise/Light Pollution, Nuclear Power Plants, PFAS/PFOS, Port/Transit/Highway Contamination/Noise, Sewage/Sewage Treatment, Superfund Sites


Community Farm/Gardens, Community Organizing and Education, Green Infrastructure, Nature-Based Solutions

501c3 Tax Deductible


Accepting Donations