Please join us on Monday, April 9th when we will welcome Bill Stangler – Congaree Riverkeeper to our podium.
Bill Stangler is your Congaree Riverkeeper. Since moving to Columbia in 2005 from North Carolina to attend the University of South Carolina, Bill has immersed himself in our rivers — recreationally, ecologically, and communally. At USC, he graduated with a bachelor of science in geography, focusing on biogeography, landscape ecology, and river science. Most of his research efforts focused on area rivers. After working as a local river guide for a number of years, he came on-board as the Congaree Riverkeeper in 2009.
Bill’s tenacity and zeal for advocacy truly transformed Congaree Riverkeeper into the leading voice for the Congaree, Lower Saluda, and Lower Broad rivers. His background as a river guide provided the organization with countless practical skills, but his educational expertise elevated Congaree Riverkeeper to new heights. Congaree Riverkeeper currently boasts two water quality sampling programs, numerous legal and enforcement successes, outreach growth like the organization has never seen before, and educational partnerships and advances crucial to the health of our rivers. Because of Bill’s long history with science researchers and educators around the state, Congaree Riverkeeper is able to continuously partner with leading ecological researchers on projects related to the well-being of our rivers and the communities who use it.
Before Congaree Riverkeeper existed in the Midlands almost ten years ago, many locals were afraid to recreate in and around our rivers. Decades of dumping and pollution scared folks away from our beautiful, life-giving waterways. It’s Congaree Riverkeeper’s belief that our rivers are our most precious natural resource and must be protected for generations to come.
In a nutshell, that’s what Bill does: he speaks for our rivers. He advocates for swimmable, drinkable, fishable water — for everyone.
Bill also serves on the boards of Friends of Congaree Swamp and Palmetto Paddlers. In his spare time, he’s an avid paddler, hiker, and general outdoor enthusiast. Next summer, he’s marrying his fiancé, Sara McGregor, an art teacher at River Bluff High School.