Friends of Lake Keowee (FOLKS) is a society of people, HOA's, businesses and corporations who care about the quality of water in one of the most beautiful lakes in the Southeast: Lake Keowee. Lake Keowee has a surface area of 17,660 acres, is 29 miles long, with 388 miles of shoreline at full pond at an elevation of 800 feet. FOLKS was established in 1993 to raise awareness of the importance of Lake Keowee and its watershed to the economic and recreational well-being of Upstate SC.
FOLKS is an organization of volunteers and members whose mission is to preserve, protect and enhance Lake Keowee and its watershed through ACE -
WHO WE ARE
FOLKS is made up of people like you -- people who care about lake Keowee and recognize the importance the lake plays in the social, economic, and recreational aspects of all our lives.
FOLKS’ volunteers work hard to find and share reliable information about issues affecting Lake Keowee and its water quality through community forums, The Sentinel newsletter and Constant Contact emails. FOLKS fosters a constructive exchange of information and cooperation between landowners, lake users, businesses, educators, scientists, governments and conservationists.
2020 AND ONWARD FOLKS INITIATIVES
Lake sweeps -- Keeping Lake Keowee clean with more than 100 volunteers
Island Keeping -- Cleaning up the islands
Future Habitat Enhancement Projects (HEP)
84 New Fish Attractors
Assemble and install 17 fishing tackle disposal containers
Purchase and install 75 Eastern Bluebird nesting boxes for this threatened species
Shoreline stabilization for a section of the Great Blue Heron rookery
Continuing our presence with the Lake Keowee Source Water Protection Team
Water Quality Monitoring -- Keeping track of algae blooms and water clarity
Starting and Expanding the Adopt a Stream water testing program
Expand awareness about septic system maintenance and voluntary shoreline buffer installation
Continue to promote local, state and national policies that protect lake Keowee and its watershed for effective lake management
Continue encouraging Oconee County to implement a Storm Water Management Program before required to do so in 2021 or 2022.
Continue to increase membership and awareness of FOLKS to the residents and businesses of Oconee and Pickens counties.
FOLKS will again be a stakeholder and contributor to the upcoming 2030 Keowee-Toxaway Relicensing
25 Years of Lake Sweeps and Island Cleanups
Successful Past Habitat Enhancement Programs
Osprey Nests Building
17 Fish Attractors installed
Riprapping Heron nesting islands
FOLKS was recognized by the EPA for the work done in the Cane and Little Cane Creek Watershed to improve water quality by The South Carolina Environmental Foundation and received the Honor Roll Award from the Izaac Walton League for promoting good conservation and stewardship
Folks was a stakeholder and contributor to the recent Keowee-Toxaway Relicensing and was instrumental in including the Source Water Protection Program; the Dock Extension Oppoirtunity; and the Habitat Enhancement Program (HEP)
FOLKS has an important working relationship with Clemson University and provides graduate student stipends and works with various departments and the Clemson Extension Service on projects.
FOLKS works closely with Duke Energy, SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), SC Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS)/US Department of Agriculture. These relationships are integral to FOLKS fulfilling its mission.
FOLKS monitors environmental issues, particularly those that may impact the Upstate, and FOLKS has been instrumental in positive, new regulations and policies in Oconee and Pickens counties.
FOLKS LEADERSHIP TEAM
Board of Directors:
Dale Wilde, President
Mike White, Chairman
Dave Metzger, Treasurer
Sam Savoca, Secretary
Ben Turetzky, Director Emeritus
Doug Hof, President
Jack Lewis, President
Bob Swank, President
Adopt-An-Island: Paul Gibbons
Building & Grounds: Ken Pankopp
Endowment: Dave Metzger
Events: MaryJo Jeffries
Grants: Dale Wilde
Lake Sweep: Scott Calderwood
Membership: Sam Savoca
Advertising: Mike White
Business Manager: Terri Graham
Website: Sam Savoca
Water Testing: Bill Miller