A longtime voice in the effort to protect and improve the Catawba River basin is stepping down. Rick Gaskins, the executive director of the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation, leaves in June. Gaskins is a Charlotte attorney who started as a volunteer with the group shortly after it formed in 1998. Gaskins remembers spending his summers as a child, playing in creeks. Today, he has a more complex understanding of the Charlotte region's system of rivers and lakes.