July 16, 2010
Lisenby of the Upper Watauga Riverkeeper is Stephenson Center Lecturer July 21

From time immemorial, fresh, clean-running rivers have been the lifeblood of Appalachia, providing drinking water, fish, transportation and scenic beauty. With the coming of industry, development and overpopulation, many mountain rivers have suffered, becoming polluted, silted up and filled with refuse.

Fortunately, today many have realized the damage our rivers have suffered and more importantly are doing something about it. Leading the fight to recover and preserve one of most precious resources are the Riverkeepers, part of the world-wide Waterkeeper movement.

On July 21 as part of the Stephenson Center for Appalachia Lecture Series, Donna Lisenby, the Upper Watauga Riverkeeper, will discuss her career as an advocate committed to preserving and protecting North Carolina rivers. The subject of a UNC-Chapel Hill documentary in the college's "Environmental Heroes" series, Lisenby helped pioneer the Riverkeeper program in the state as the Catawba Riverkeeper. In 2007 she brought her award-winning talents and dedication to the mountains to champion the Watauga River, Elk River, Roan Creek and Watauga Lake watersheds.

Her program will be held in Evans Auditorium in Cannon Student Center on the Lees-McRae Campus from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 21. Everyone is invited to attend free of charge.

"Few individuals have had such an immediate impact on improving our mountain environment and raising awareness of damage to our rivers as Donna Lisenby has. We are fortunate to have her visit our campus to share her work and vision," said Dr. Michael Joslin, director of the Stephenson Center for Appalachia. "We invite everyone interested in keeping our rivers clean and free-flowing to join us for her program."

For information, contact Meghan Wright at (828) 898-8729.

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