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Keeping the River: Catawba Riverkeeper Talks Environmental Action

Our series of articles about getting outside in the Charlotte area to be active on the Carolina Thread Trail network and Catawba River is presented in partnership with local orthopedic-care provider OrthoCarolina.


Queen City Nerve presents Keeping the River, a three-part podcast series powered by OrthoCarolina and hosted by Dr. Keith Cradle, founder of Camping with Cradle.

Episode 1 of Keeping the River told the 10,000 history of the Catawba River, from its earliest settlement by members of the Catawba Indian Nation to its role in historic wars to the contemporary battle over coal ash



On Episode 2, Keith sits down with Brandon Jones, just the fifth person to ever carry the title of Catawba Riverkeeper for the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation. Jones was brought on with the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation in 2017 to serve as director of technical programs, eventually succeeding previous Catawba Riverkeeper Sam Perkins. 

catawba river podcast

Keith and Brandon discuss what led up to Brandon serving as lead protector of the Catawba River, and how Charlotte-area residents can do their part to help in that mission, whether through volunteering or simple actions like picking up after their dog on a walk. 

As Riverkeeper, Brandon is Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation’s chief scientist and advocate, and is responsible for coordinating the organization’s testing, sampling, research, and legislative initiatives. He is also the primary contact for all citizen concerns.

Jones is a Gaston County native who’s committed to the environment both inside and outside the office. He spends his free time on the water as an avid whitewater paddler and river guide, and on the trails playing disc golf.

Currently, Catawba Riverkeeper employs a professional staff of scientists, educators, and passionate environmentalists executing programs across the basin. A committed group of board members, volunteers, and community members assist in executing Catawba Riverkeeper’s education, engagement, and advocacy programs.

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