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WNC Business

RiverLink partners with Darby Communications and Land of Sky to amplify stormwater education

Nov 07, 2023 09:00AM ● By WNC Business

ASHEVILLE – RiverLink, the Asheville-based nonprofit dedicated to promoting the environmental and economic vitality of the French Broad River and its watershed, announced a strategic partnership with Darby Communications, an Asheville-based public relations and digital marketing agency. Collaborating with the Land of Sky Regional Council to engage municipalities as well, the 2024 partnership aims to increase awareness and generate momentum for RiverLink's Reduce Rain Runoff campaign, centered around stormwater education and promoting action in the greater French Broad region to keep rainwater on site. This new public awareness campaign is made possible through a $50,500 grant from The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina and a $10,000 grant from Duke Energy Foundation.

RiverLink’s Reduce Rain Runoff campaign is dedicated to creating awareness and spurring action against stormwater and sediment pollution, recognized as the primary threat to water quality and biodiversity in the French Broad River. Through engaging messaging, the campaign aims to educate the public on polluted stormwater runoff and promote best practices to address it in WNC communities, improving conditions in the French Broad watershed and reinforcing RiverLink's collaboration with various stakeholders. The campaign will build on several concurrent initiatives by RiverLink including the WaterRICH Guide, which provides practical runoff management solutions to homeowners; the Adopt-A-Storm Drain Program, which works with volunteers to protect clean water in urban streams; and RiverLink’s ongoing education initiatives with building professionals, home and property owners, and business owners. The campaign will leverage RiverLink's educational expertise to reach a wider audience in the French Broad watershed, motivating local communities to adopt sustainable stormwater management practices for the benefit of future generations.

“We are thrilled to partner with Darby Communications, an agency with an excellent reputation for their outdoor industry PR expertise,” states Lisa Raleigh, Executive Director of RiverLink. “Their location in Asheville, in the heart of our beloved French Broad River region, uniquely positions them to understand the environmental challenges we face. Together, we look forward to driving positive change and advancing our shared vision for a cleaner, healthier environment."

“Raising awareness of the importance of clean water and opportunities for stewardship is an effort that CFWNC and several fundholders are pleased to support,” said Tara Scholtz, Senior Program Officer at The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. “We are all connected, and there is always someone downstream. Public understanding of the threats to the French Broad watershed and ways to reduce pollution, address stormwater and sediment, and implement best management practices benefits our entire region.”

“This campaign is an exciting next step in our ongoing collaboration with RiverLink to provide stormwater pollution prevention education and, most importantly, action throughout the region. By working at the regional scale, we can multiply and magnify the messages, public engagement and water quality improvements to achieve greater collective impact,” said Mary Roderick, Planning Director at Land of Sky Regional Council. “It also fills a critical need for public outreach that municipalities with stormwater permits are required to perform, but may lack the resources and capacity to execute on their own while also serving many other competing community needs.” 

“As an agency that proudly calls Asheville home, we are truly excited to work alongside RiverLink on this critical project. RiverLink's dedication to preserving the French Broad River and their strong commitment to environmental stewardship throughout our region align perfectly with our agency's values,” said Coral Darby, Founder of Darby Communications. “We look forward to combining our outdoor industry expertise with their mission to advance environmental restoration and economic revitalization in our community.”

For more information on Riverlink and the latest initiatives, visit or contact Hannah Kaminer at [email protected]

About RiverLink:
RiverLink promotes the environmental and economic vitality of the French Broad River and its watershed. RiverLink accomplishes its mission by improving watershed health and climate resilience, providing permanent public access to the river through conservation and recreation easements, reclaiming contaminated lands for public use and enjoyment, empowering over 1,000 volunteers each year, and annually educating over 4,000 students, as well as the public at large, about the importance of a healthy French Broad River watershed. For more information, visit

About Darby Communications:
Darby Communications is a full-service PR & digital marketing agency serving the outdoor, active lifestyle, fishing, and craft food and beverage industries through impactful media placement, digital advertising, email marketing, social media management, and content writing. Headquartered in Asheville, NC, Darby Communications takes a team approach to everything it does for clients and has worked with many respected companies within its industries. Learn more at or follow on social @DarbyComm.

Source: Darby Communications