Updated 2:25 p.m.
The Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation has announced a change of leadership.
Sam Perkins has stepped down after five years as the Catawba Riverkeeper, monitoring the health and environmental concerns about the waterway.
Replacing him is Brandon Jones, who has been the foundation's director of technical programs for the past 15 months.
Perkins was with the foundation for six and a half years total, also previously serving as technical director. He has been an advocate for clean water, including protesting Duke Energy's plans to leave coal ash in old pits along the river. He also has monitored legal compliance of hog and poultry farms and spoken out against runoff from large developments.
"I am proud of the work I did at the riverkeeper and felt it was time to move on," Perkins said in an interview. "I was born and raised in Charlotte, and to do this work in an area I thought I knew, I learned so muh more."
Emilee Syrewicze, executive director of the foundation, said in a press release that Perkins' work was a "crucial component of CRF’s mission and success with various initiatives such as coal ash, factory farms and stormwater. We are sad to see him go, but wish him well in his future endeavors."
CatawbaRiverkeeper.org announcement, "CRF Announces New Riverkeeper"