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 counties.

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 anna@mountaintrue.org.

Hartwell Carson

Hartwell Carson

French Broad Riverkeeper

Hartwell has been the French Broad Riverkeeper for over six 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 and ears of 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
envelope hartwell@mountaintrue.org

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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

July 2021 E-Vistas Newsletter

In our July E-News we celebrate our Bio-Blitz winners, welcome Sarah Ogletree as the new director of the Creation Care Alliance, expose the impacts of clear-cutting at Bottomley Farms, and more.

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One Million Gallons of Sewage Overflowed into Western North Carolina Waterways during Six Month Period

More than one million gallons of sewage overflowed from inadequate wastewater infrastructure into the French Broad River and other area waterways in Western North Carolina according to state data acquired and analyzed by MountainTrue. The data was collected from August 3, 2020 until March 4, 2021 by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) Asheville Regional office and is the best available estimate of the amount of sewage that overflows from wastewater infrastructures such as pipes and manhole covers into area rivers and streams across 19 counties of western North Carolina.

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DNA Testing Indicates Animal Agriculture and Sewer Infrastructure are Major Pollution Sources for French Broad River

Some of it comes from cows, some from humans and dogs. But it’s all poop and it doesn’t belong in our rivers. Find out how MountainTrue and the French Broad Riverkeeper used DNA to determine the sources of E. coli pollution to the French Broad River.

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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.