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    Summer Social Mission: Congaree Riverkeeper

    At Fig, we believe in the power of a community that works together to identify needs and find solutions—one that creates connections and is passionate about helping its neighbors. For our 2021 Social Mission Partner, we have selected Congaree Riverkeeper, an impactful nonprofit whose good works contribute immensely to our thriving, local community.

    The work that Congaree Riverkeeper does in our community for the Lower Saluda, Broad, and Congaree Rivers is never more evident than the first warm, sunny Saturday in the summer. Take a drive across the Gervais Street Bridge, just after where the Saluda and Congaree Rivers join to become one, and gaze out over the water. You’ll see a river full of kayaks and inner tubes as our community dips into the cool river water to escape Columbia’s famously hot summer heat.

    “Our rivers are an amazing recreational asset to our communities and provide so many opportunities,” said Bill Stangler, Riverkeeper. “There’s fishing, paddling, tubing, birdwatching, nature photography, and more. When the temperatures heat up, the Lower Saluda is the coolest place in town because the water there comes out of the bottom of Lake Murray and averages 55°.”

    Our community is able to enjoy clean waterways and healthy rivers thanks to the work that Congaree Riverkeeper does through organized monthly river cleanup days, pollution monitoring, and through 11 bacteria sampling checkpoints along the three rivers.

    The water quality testing is conducted by the Midlands Rivers Coalition, a collaborative effort between conservation organizations, government agencies, academia, local governments, recreation providers, and businesses to provide water quality information and advisories to river users. Congaree Riverkeeper helped to establish and plays a leadership role in the coalition. During the recreation season from May through September, the rivers are monitored on a weekly basis, and you can check the latest water quality results and advisories at HowsMySCRiver.org.

    Heading out to the river soon? Soak in the beauty that surrounds you out on the water, and remember to do your part to help keep the rivers enjoyable for everyone. Here’s how to help:

    • Conserve water
    • Pick up your trash
    • Reduce your plastic consumption
    • Get engaged with local conservation groups
    • Report pollution concerns

    Learn more about Congaree Riverkeeper, the work that they do for the rivers that flow through the Midlands, and how you can make a donation, whether it’s monetary, supplies, or volunteer hours, by visiting congareeriverkeeper.org or by following them on social media (@congareeriverkeeper).