The Charleston Waterkeeper Water Ball Tonight!

Water Ball is a
celebration and an education about the city's biggest asset

By Denise K. James, Special to The Post and Courier

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Charleston Waterkeeper Group will host its first Water Ball
at the S.C. Aquarium from 7-11 p.m. tonight. Charleston Waterkeeper, begun in
fall 2008 by Executive Director Cyrus Buffum, is part of an international
program called The Waterkeeper Alliance.

The Alliance began in the early 1980s and is dedicated to
helping communities protect their water supply. And since the Lowcountry is
surrounded by water, Charleston Waterkeeper has continued to grow steadily
since 2008.

"It's been very well-received because everyone in
Charleston is always out on the water, in the water or watching the
water," says Natalie Taylor, a Waterkeeper volunteer. "It's relevant
to everyone. I've been passionate about this organization since I first started
working with them about a year and a half ago."

"At the Charleston branch, we're still young and
learning," says Buffum. "I moved from Cape Cod in 2002 because I was
drawn here by the water, and the same thing has kept me here post-graduation. Anyone
who has spent enough time in the Lowcountry's environment really comes to
appreciate the environment and its delicacies. We all have to invest ourselves
in protecting our water. It benefits the whole community."

The Water Ball, while aiming to be a fun time, is also a time to
learn more about the Waterkeeper program.

"One of our event goals is to display the role that
technology can play in helping prevent water contamination," says Buffum.
For example, we'll be displaying an iPhone application that will allow people
who are out on the water to see the pollution and to report it right then. We
want to use the power of technology to encourage our community to protect the

The educational aspects of the evening also include keynote
speakers and a variety of other displays. "The goal is raising funds and
raising awareness," says Taylor. "We want supporters to be inspired
and invigorated to take action, and to protect the water as much as we all
enjoy it."

Tickets to the ball are available tonight at the door and at

The event is formal, but it's not black tie, and creative dress
is encouraged. A $50 ticket includes food, plus cocktails from local suppliers
such as Coast Brewing, New Belgian Brewing and Firefly Distillery. All food
vendors are local, and the silent auction will consist of items from local
artists. The music will be an eclectic mix, with a DJ spinning everything from
techno to funk.

"We strive to support the local economy, since it relies on
clean water sources," says Taylor. "We all have to work together for
the greater good."



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