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Waccamaw River

Contact Us

Dr. Susan Libes
Program Director

Waccamaw River

The Waccamaw River Volunteer Monitoring Project is a citizen science project designed to:

  • Increase geographic and temporal coverage of water quality monitoring in the Waccamaw River in South Carolina to assist in development of site specific water quality standards;
  • Address NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) Phase II program measures for public education and involvement;
  • Assist in illicit discharge detection (an NPDES Phase II program requirement).
  • Document water quality improvements by Horry County, Georgetown County and the City of Conway.

This volunteer-based program is administered by Coastal Carolina University's Waccamaw Watershed Academy and the Waccamaw RIVERKEEPER® Program of Winyah Rivers Foundation. Funding partners for the program include: US Environmental Protection Agency (through a four-year Wetlands Program Development Grant, 2005-2009); the City of Conway, Horry County, and Georgetown County.

Volunteers trained in using environmental testing equipment work in teams and sample twelve sites along the length of the Waccamaw River in South Carolina. Teams sample bimonthly for several water quality parameters, including conductivity, dissolved oxygen, pH, nutrients and bacteria. These data are recorded in an online database and are accessible to the public.

High quality data is collected to assist in identifying hot spots for land-based sources of pollutants, to assist in illicit discharge detection, to detect trends over time and to document water quality issues and improvements in the Waccamaw River Watershed.

The Waccamaw River Volunteer Monitoring Project is building environmental awareness throughout the Waccamaw Watershed in South Carolina and engaging citizens in the stewardship of their watershed.


  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • City of Conway
  • Horry County
  • Georgetown County