CCU Partners with North Carolina Land Trust

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The North Carolina Land Trust is partnering with Coastal Carolina University to develop and impliment a water quality monitoring program on Lake Waccamaw and the North Carolina portion of the Waccamaw River.  Read the following press release for more information.

Kristen Howell, Conservation Specialist
North Carolina Coastal Land Trust


Research Triangle Park, NC – Columbus County students will learn about the link between clean water quality and human health and ecosystem functions by taking part in a water quality monitoring program on Lake Waccamaw and the Waccamaw River, using a North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation Ribbon of Hope award.

The NC GlaxoSmithKline Foundation’s Board of Directors awarded a $25,000 Ribbon of Hope grant to the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust to expand an existing water quality-monitoring program on Lake Waccamaw and the Waccamaw River to include teachers and students. The grant will be used to develop and implement a hands-on water quality educational program for Columbus County high school and middle school students, called “WOW” Waters of Waccamaw. The Land Trust’s partners include Lake Waccamaw State Park, Winyah Rivers Foundation, Southeastern Community College and Coastal Carolina University

Through interactive training sessions, hands-on practice and use of a web-based teacher’s guide, Columbus County students will learn marketable scientific skills, experience Lake Waccamaw and the Waccamaw River, and gain an appreciation of a globally important ecosystem right in their backyard. The “WOW” project will train teachers, students and volunteers how to test water quality and the opportunity to apply their new skills on the lake and river. They also will have the option to become part of a long-term water quality monitoring crew, contributing real scientific data to help understand changes in the watershed and assess aquatic health.

“We are grateful to the NC GlaxoSmithKline Foundation for supporting the advancement of education, science and health in our community,” said Camilla Herlevich, NC Coastal Land Trust’s executive director. “This project will provide students with science curriculum that links clean water quality to issues such as human health and ecosystem functions. It will also give students an opportunity to be part of a long-term monitoring project, and make significant contributions to our program.”

Originating from Lake Waccamaw, a large Carolina Bay in North Carolina, the Waccamaw River winds 140 miles through wild swamp forests, timberlands, and towns to the Atlantic Ocean at Winyah Bay, South Carolina. The Waccamaw watershed contains 19 aquatic animals and 22 plants found nowhere else on the planet, representing the greatest concentration of endemic animals in North Carolina.

Since 2008, the NC GlaxoSmithKline Foundation has awarded 70 grants to nonprofits across the state under the Ribbon of Hope program. As part of the grant, recipients also receive customized consulting services and technical assistance from the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits. The goal of the Ribbon of Hope program, which offers one-time $25,000 grants, is to have a positive impact on the lives of North Carolina’s citizens in each of the state’s 100 counties by supporting programs that further health, science and education in local communities.