Protecting Land & Water | Advocacy | Balanced Growth
Water is the single most important resource on the planet. 

We are fortunate in the Upstate in that most of us have access to plenty of clean drinking water whenever we need it. During this COVID-19 situation, I’ve been even more appreciative of the fact that I have access to clean, reliable water with a turn of the tap. Think about how difficult a simple hygienic measure like hand washing would be without easy access to clean running water. As our region grows, it’s more important than ever to recognize the tremendous value of water and to fight to protect it
We dove deep into this topic for the new issue of the Upstate Advocate, Upstate Forever’s twice-yearly publication sponsored by Pacolet Milliken Enterprises. In “The Value of Water” issue, we shed light on Upstate Forever’s Clean Water work. We shared stories from people across the Upstate who care about clean, abundant water. And we offered ways you can join us in the fight to protect this precious resource.

If you aren’t on Upstate Forever’s mailing list and would like to receive a copy of the Upstate Advocate, please click here to have our team send one your way. You can also read this and past issues online at

Take care and be well,
Erika Hollis
Clean Water Director, Upstate Forever
Landmark Supreme Court decision impacts Upstate pollution suit

Last week, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a landmark opinion in a Clean Water Act (CWA) lawsuit from Hawaii concerning the indirect pollution of federally protected waters via groundwater. This ruling gives broader protection to our waterways and is closely tied to Upstate Forever’s and Savannah Riverkeeper’s CWA pollution suit against oil and gas pipeline operator Kinder Morgan for their 2014 spill of almost 400,000 gallons of diesel fuel in Anderson County.

“This ruling establishes that Kinder Morgan’s spill, which they failed to adequately clean up, is the functional equivalent of a direct discharge and therefore a violation of the Clean Water Act,” said UF’s Director of Energy & State Policy Shelley Robbins about the ruling. “But more importantly, the Supreme Court has made a statement that pollution of our waters will not be tolerated.”

Take our 5-minute survey
We want your perspective on the value of water! Take our brief online survey for the opportunity to win a $100 Visa Gift Card, plus a limited edition Upstate Forever 16oz Nalgene® water bottle and "Be the Upstate" t-shirt printed locally by Dapper Ink Custom Outfitters. Take the survey
New USDA funding partnership
Upstate Forever has been awarded a $3.9 million funding partnership from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Funding from this program will be used to protect the region’s most critical lands for water quality. Read more
Tune in for two upcoming Conversations with Conservationists featuring Upstate Forever staff 

The South Carolina Conservation Coalition has been hard at work developing some social distancing-friendly opportunities for you to learn more about the issues our coalition of more than 40 conservation organizations from across the state work on in South Carolina. This weekly webinar series has so far covered topics including offshore drilling, the Energy Freedom Act, and advocacy for beginners.

We are proud to have two members of the Upstate Forever team host some upcoming webinars:

Talking Trash: Commercial Composting and the End of Landfills?
Thursday, May 7 at 12 pm | Register here
With South Carolina's booming population, how can we ease pressure on landfills while also healing the planet? UF Director of Energy & State Policy Shelley Robbins will explore this topic with Jim Davis and Leslie Rodger of Atlas Organics and Betsy LaForce from the Coastal Conservation League.

Will We Have Enough Water in 20 Years?
Tuesday, May 19 | Time and registration link to come
Continued population and economic growth are increasing demand for water across the state. SCDNR is working to update our State Water Plan to satisfy increasing demand for water across South Carolina due to continued population and economic growth. UF Clean Water Advocate Megan Chase will break down the planning process and why it matters.

You can view more details and find recordings of past webinars on the Upstate Forever blog .
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Your tax-deductible gift to Upstate Forever will go directly toward protecting critical lands and saving special places in the Upstate.
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Upstate Forever is a nonprofit conservation organization that protects critical lands, waters, and the unique character of Upstate South Carolina.  Over the past two decades, we have worked to protect the natural assets that make the Upstate so special — our farmlands, forests, natural areas, rivers, and clean air. We are committed to ensuring that our communities are vibrant and retain their green spaces, outdoor heritage, and unique identities in the face of rapid development and significant sprawl. Our vision is an environmentally healthy, economically prosperous Upstate that offers a high quality of life now and for future generations.

For more information, visit our website at or send us an email .