French Broad Riverkeeper

Founded in 2001, the French Broad Riverkeeper serves as a fundamental protector of the French Broad River watershed in Western North Carolina. The French Broad Riverkeeper is key to MountainTrue’s endeavors to monitor and protect the quality of our region’s waterways. The Riverkeeper fights for safe and healthy waterways for all citizens in the French Broad River watershed by bringing together local residents and communities to identify pollution sources, enforce environmental laws, advocate for stronger environmental laws, engage in restoration, and educate and empower the public. The French Broad Riverkeeper serves Transylvania, Henderson, Buncombe, Haywood and Madison county.


Keep the French Broad Clean

You can help keep the French Broad healthy and clean by volunteering with one of our river cleanups or other events. If you are interested in volunteering, click the button below or email Anna Alsobrook at

Volunteer Now
Hartwell Carson

Hartwell Carson

French Broad Riverkeeper

Hartwell has been the French Broad Riverkeeper for over 6 years, dedicated to defending the French Broad, educating locals about the river and getting the community involved in river health. He was instrumental in discovering seepage of toxic coal ash from the Duke power plant into the French Broad River. He is the eyes, ears and advocator for the river, ensuring that Clean Water Act regulations are being met so that we can have fishable and swimmable water in the French Broad.

phone 828.258.8737 x 211

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French Broad River Adventures

MountainTrue and the French Broad Riverkeeper wants everyone to experience and explore the French Broad. MountainTrue provides multiple recreational opportunities to get on the river such as day trips, tube floats, section paddles, our annual French Broad River Paddle Trip (a multi­-day paddle­-camping adventure), and more. The French Broad Riverkeeper was key in the creation of the French Broad River Paddle Trail that is a recreational watercraft trail created and operated by MountainTrue and RiverLink. The trail is ranked by Outside Magazine as one of the world’s premiere travel destinations. Paddle and camp on over 140 miles of French Broad River, from the headwaters in Rosman, North Carolina to Douglas Lake in Tennessee.

>Make your river adventure reservations!

Riverkeeper Beer Series

To support the French Broad Riverkeeper, five local breweries are creating a unique beer based on the French Broad River that will be premiered for a whole month from May until September. This is a great way for all of our locals to get involved in the water protection efforts of MountainTrue and the French Broad Riverkeeper. Release parties are held at the hosting brewery every month and a section paddle trip accompanies the beer release.

> Find out more!

French Broad Riverkeeper News

2016 MoutainTrue Awards Recipients Announced

MountainTrue announced the winners of the MountainTrue Awards, which were at the organization’s Fall Gathering held at New Belgium Brewing Company in Asheville on October 26. Award honorees are recognized for their hard work and dedication to protecting our forests, mountains, rivers and streams, and to promoting clean energy and sustainability.

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Tell DEQ to Stop Duke’s Water Pollution at Cliffside

It seems like the NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) just can’t get it right when it comes to getting Duke Energy fix their polluting coal ash dumps. Time and time again we see the agency fall short of making the progress needed to protect our waterways and communities and the new draft wastewater discharge permit for the Rogers Energy Complex (a.k.a. Cliffside power plant) in Rutherford and Cleveland Counties is no different.

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Join us for the MountainTrue Fall Gathering at New Belgium!

Wednesday, October 26, join us at New Belgium Brewery in Asheville for our annual Fall Gathering. Expect great beer, delicious food and some sweet, sweet jams from Asheville’s very own The Midnight Plowboys. With our proud mountain heritage, beautiful mountain vistas, lush forests and rushing streams, Western North Carolina is an amazing and special place to call home. The support of our members has helped us fight for our communities and protect one of the richest environments in the world. Come and help us recognize the hard work of our members and volunteers, and to celebrate our accomplishments over the past year.

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Mavis Staples to Perform in Asheville at Benefit for MountainTrue

MountainTrue, Prestige Subaru and the Matt & Molly Team present Mavis Staples live in Asheville, a benefit for the French Broad Riverkeeper. The concert takes place at The Orange Peel on November 13. Tickets are on sale now and proceeds from the concert support the work of the French Broad Riverkeeper, a program of MountainTrue and the primary protector and defender of the French Broad River watershed. Asheville-based artist Lyric will perform with her band as the opening act and will also perform a special acoustic set at a VIP event at PULP (The Orange Peel’s lower level private club) before the show.

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Through Muddy Water Watch, volunteers go out hiking, biking, and driving to collect data about sources of sediment pollution. The data is used to work with the US Forest Service to repair damaged roads, culverts, and other sources of sediment to ensure these streams remain healthy.
After nearly a decade of work by WNCA (now MountainTrue), 11th District Congressman Heath Schuler, and many others, the long-proposed North Shore Road along the shore of Fontana Lake was put to rest. The people of Swain County were financially compensated in lieu of the originally promised road, and pristine streams, sensitive aquatic life and public land were preserved.