Hartwell Carson, French Broad Riverkeeper
Hartwell has worked to protect and defend the French Broad River as the Riverkeeper for the last 11 years. He was the first responder to Asheville coal ash problems, and worked to protect the French Broad River and the nearby community by forcing Duke Energy to clean up and close down the Asheville coal burning power plant. He implemented his idea for the French Broad River Paddle trail by building new campsites and access points that now link over 140 miles of the French Broad River. Hartwell also published a paddle trail map book, app and online guide to the paddle trail. He has trained hundreds of volunteers to monitor and report sediment pollution, created the Swim Guide for understanding and cleaning up bacteria pollution, repaired over 10 miles of failing dirt roads along trout streams, initiated the clean up of several polluting dairy farms, implemented over two miles of stream restoration projects, and ensured regulations are adequate and enforced to meet the goals of the Clean Water Act to have all waters be fishable and swimmable.
He completed his undergraduate work at the University of Georgia studying Recreation and Resource Management. While a student there, he worked with the Outdoor Recreation Center as an environmental educator and guide. After working for the Forest Service in Colorado, Hartwell earned his Master’s of Science from the University of Montana, where he conducted extensive work examining social and ecological impacts on the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument. Hartwell currently served on the Waterkeeper Alliance council and board of Waterkeepers Carolina.
We value mountain communities that are vibrant, livable, and respectful of their connection to and dependence on the region’s natural environment.
We value the integrity of natural systems – air, land, water, and native plants and animals – and believe in protecting and restoring them for the benefit of all generations.