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Who We Are

The NCWSN is a network of people working to protect and improve water resources across North Carolina. Connecting via social media, an email list, webinars, workshops, and-when safe to do so- in person, we support each other and our community initiatives through success stories, skill building opportunities, and collaboration.

Core Partners

The NCWSN resides at WRRI with support from NC Sea Grant, NCDWR and volunteers who step up to provide support to water stewards through team projects. Christy Perrin, WRRI, coordinates NCWSN efforts in collaboration with Lauren Daniel and Michelle Racquet, NCDWR.

The NCWSN consists of anyone who is interested and/or involved with protecting or improving their local waters, and people who support those local stewards. Follow us on social media and sign up for our e-news for new opportunities to support local watershed stewardship efforts across North Carolina.

A few of our current and long-term NCWSN team members also include:

We welcome you to join us here on our website and join the conversation via social media. New opportunities will arrive to participate.


In 2013, a group of watershed professionals completed a needs assessment of watershed professionals and volunteers. The results illustrated opportunities to build local capacities to protect waters. The NCWSN launched when a group of ~50 water resource professionals from across the state met to discuss these results and how to move forward to support water stewards.

Several volunteers came together to form a steering committee, and based on participants’ suggestions, UNC-Institute for the Environment and WRRI stepped up to the plate to fund part-time co-coordinators to move the network forward. The steering committee formed work teams to create a strategic plan and logic model, develop web tools, and develop training opportunities. Founding Steering Committee members are listed here.

In 2018, UNC IE stepped back from NCWSN due to the end of supporting funds, and NC Division of Water Resources (DWR) stepped in to support NCWSN along with WRRI and NC Sea Grant. In 2020, NCWSN coordination was fully moved to WRRI with support from DWR.

Core tenets of that early work continue to drive the NCWSN, including focusing on and encouraging success through local examples, building diverse networks around water, and collaborating through work teams to support water efforts.

An education & training work team hosted “Tools of Watershed Management” across NC.

Work Team Efforts and Products 

A K-12 team worked to increase understanding and appreciation of water in K-12 audiences. Their work resulted in Watershed Wisdom, an online Lesson Plan created with UNC-TV that was released in 2020.

Several steering committee members helped form the NC Aquatic Data Hub, and through this partnership delivered Stream Monitoring Methods for citizen scientists training workshops in 2018-2019.

A value of water team surveyed watershed organizations and local government to identify public watershed education programs.

Sustainably Funding Your Watershed Efforts workshops held in Newton, New Bern, and Fayetteville in 2017 provided guidance on fundraising and introductions to funding organizations  (link to resources).

Tools of Watershed Management two-day workshops provided watershed planning guidance in Kinston, Asheville, Salisbury, Chapel Hill in 2016.

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee kicked off WSN, for the first few years meeting often to create the WSN structure and projects.

  • Kevin Boyer, City of Raleigh
  • Caitlin Burke, Conservation Trust for NC
  • Paul Clark, Use Restoration Watershed Program, NCDWR
  • Bill Crowell, APNEP
  • Michelle Drostin, UNC Institute for the Environment
  • Amy Farinelli, City of Raleigh Stormwater
  • Stacey Feken, Abermarle Pamlico National Estuary Partnership
  • Joey Hester, NCDA&CS Division of Soil & Water Conservation
  • Tom Hoban, Cape Fear River Association
  • George Matthis, River Guardian Foundation
  • Holly Miller, Town of Wake Forest
  • David O’Loughlin
  • Grant Parkins, UNC Institute for the Environment
  • Christy Perrin, Water Resources Research Institute
  • Gloria Putnam, NC Sea Grant
  • Eric Romaniszyn, Haywood Waterways Association
  • Rebecca Sadosky, NC Drinking Water Protection Program, NCDWR
  • Michael Schlegel, Triangle J Council of Governments
  • Maya Cough-Schulze, EPA 319 and 205j programs, NCDWR, DEQ
  • Stuart Taylor, Elkin Presbyterian Church
  • Ron Townley, Upper Coastal Plain COG
  • Jason Wager, Centralina COG
  • Mitch Woodward, NC Cooperative Extension