Hartwell Carson is a native of Macon, Georgia. 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 Masters 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 has been the French Broad Riverkeeper for the last four years, one of 190+ Waterkeepers who are networked through the Waterkeeper Alliance.
As the French Broad Riverkeeper, Hartwell works to monitor pollution and protect the water quality of the French Broad River. Hartwell enjoys the French Broad Watershed by biking, hiking , kayaking, and canoeing every chance he gets. Hartwell can often be found canoeing his favorite stretch of the French Broad from Bent Creek to Asheville Outdoor Center with his wife daughter Evan, and his best buddy, June Bug.
Donna Lisenby’s role represents the expansion of our commitment to protect clean water in the region, and her work will complement that of our long-standing chapter, the Watauga River Partners, who work to protect water quality in the Watauga basin through workshops, trainings and hands-on activities.
By adding a second Riverkeeper program to serve our 23-county region, we are enhancing WNCA’s ability to protect the biologically diverse and incredibly important headwaters streams of Western North Carolina.
Donna is currently working for the Alliance on a part-time, contract basis. We hope to make Donna a permanent full-time staff member when we raise a year’s funding to support it.
Please help us make this happen and make a gift to the Alliance in support of Donna and the Watauga Riverkeeper program!
Donna brings vast experience and knowledge to our organization, having served as the Catawba Riverkeeper from 1998 to 2008 and as the Watauga Riverkeeper since 2008. She is North Carolina’s most veteran Riverkeeper, with 14 years of experience advocating for the protection, preservation and restoration of our waterways.
She has played a key role in changing the state’s interbasin transfer law to be more protective of water quantity and was the first environmental advocate to report and blow the whistle on leaking coal ash ponds across the state.
Donna is the recipient of 11 awards for her work to engage citizens and reduce industrial, sewage and sediment pollution. In recognition of her leadership, she was elected by her peers — 198 Waterkeepers worldwide — to serve as one of only three Waterkeepers on the Waterkeeper Alliance Board of Directors where she works with well known environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Clemson University and two beautiful grandchildren who motivate her work to ensure a healthy environment for future generations. We are fortunate to add another highly respected Riverkeeper to our staff and look forward to her contributions to further the Alliance’s mission of marshaling grassroots support to keep our water clean and our communities vibrant.