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

  • Jane Margaret Bell, WK Dickson, Chair
  • Mary Roderick, Land of Sky Regional Council, Vice Chair, Communications sub-committee chair
  • Preston Jacobsen, Haywood Waterways, Secretary, Development sub-committee chair
  • Andrea Leslie, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
  • Ann Marie Traylor, EQI Lab
  • Anne Keller, RiverLink, and U.S. EPA-retired, Events sub-committee chair
  • Brett Laverty, North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality
  • Eric Romaniszyn, ClearWater Environmental
  • Fritz Johnson, Blue Heron Whitewater
  • Gray Jernigan, MountainTrue, Membership sub-committee chair
  • Jade Dundas, City of Asheville
  • Jonathan Hartsell, Blue Ridge RC&D
  • Jay Hawthorne, Trout Unlimited
  • Lisa Raleigh, RiverLink
  • Maria Wise, Mills River Partnership
  • Mark Shelley, National Forest Foundation
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, chair

  • 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, acting chair

  • 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.