French Broad River Partnership Organization

Three people in a river, one snorkeling the others holding buckets with clear acrylic bottoms up to the face, enabling them to see the stream bottom clearly.
Biologists search for mussels in the South Toe River. Credit: Gary Peeples
Logo of the French Broad River Partnership

Steering Committee

  • Eric Romaniszyn, ClearWater Environmental, Chair
  • Jane Margaret Bell, Wildlands Engineering, Co-Chair
  • Andrea Leslie, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, Secretary
  • Jonathan Hartsell, Blue Ridge RC&D
  • Michael Cheek, North Carolina Forest Service
  • Jay Hawthorne, Trout Unlimited
  • Gray Jernigan, MountainTrue, Membership sub-committee co-chair
  • Anne Keller, RiverLink, and U.S. EPA-retired, Annual meeting sub-committee co-chair
  • Mark Shelley, National Forest Foundation
  • Jessica Whitmire, Headwater Outfitters, Annual meeting sub-committee co-chair
  • Brett Laverty, North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality
  • Maria Wise, Mills River Partnership
  • Jade Dundas, City of Asheville
  • Mary Roderick, Land of Sky Regional Council, Communications sub-committee chair
  • Leah Cooper, Sierra Nevada Brewing
  • Sarah Fraser, New Belgium Brewing
Lone angler standing in a stream beneath a canopy of large shrubs
Angler working a stream beneath a rhododendron canopy. Credit: Headwaters Outfitters

Water quality working group – Anne Keller and Tim Fox, co-chairs

  • The water quality working group works to better understand stressors to our river corridor and watershed, develop projects and approaches that would reduce impacts and improve water quality, and seek funding to enable this work on a scale larger than our partners organizations can do alone.

Business and recreation working group – Jay Hawthorne and [position open], co-chairs

  • The business and recreation working group works to develop positive connections and enhance understanding of the monetary and aesthetic value of the French Broad River and its tributaries. We are accomplishing this by working with the business community, recreation providers, and other interested stakeholders in the eight North Carolina counties of the watershed.

Outreach and education – Andrea Leslie and Gary Peeples, co-chairs

  • The outreach and education working group works to support and develop outreach and education efforts to maintain and improve stream health within the French Broad River watershed. The group’s present objectives are to develop a web presence, design a watershed education strategy, develop digital newsletters, and draw up a “Top Ten Things to Do for Water Quality” list.