Broad Riverkeeper


David Caldwell
[email protected]
(704) 300-5069



The Broad River watershed in NC consists of 1,513 square miles, and 1,508 stream miles. The geography of the Broad River basin itself contributes to its ecological significance. Nearly 66 percent of the land in the basin is forested, 23 percent is agricultural, and 9 percent is developed. The basin drains a section of the Blue Ridge escarpment, but the area is primarily within the piedmont. This provides a wide range of habitat types. The Broad River basin includes a considerable portion of the South Mountains, a biologically rich area that is considered of national importance for its ecological assemblage. Five Natural Heritage Priority Areas and three state parks are found in the basin. These areas provide habitat for more than 100 rare plant and animal species and 24 rare natural communities. Overall, water quality in the basin is good, but development, industrial discharges, and stormwater and agricultural runoff are creating concerns about water quality. The Broad and First Broad Rivers are growing in popularity for recreational activities such as fishing, swimming, and paddling. 

David Caldwell, Broad Riverkeeper, has fished, paddled, and explored the Broad and its tributaries for over three decades. After receiving an Engineering degree from Clemson University and working in manufacturing for several years in Shelby, NC, David became the Coordinator for Broad River Alliance, a Waterkeeper Affiliate program in 2015. He’s increased public access and engagement with the river and aggressively fought and continues to fight Duke Energy’s Cliffside Coal Power Plant. David’s primary threats to his watershed include development, industrial discharges, and stormwater and agricultural runoff. He graduated his program from Waterkeeper affiliate to full Riverkeeper in 2019.


540 Belwood Lawndale Road
Lawndale, North Carolina 28090