Spring/Summer 2024 Updates

Strategic Plan cover

FBRP Strategic Plan Released

We are excited to announce the publication of our Strategic Plan. The plan outlines four Strategic Directives that will guide our actions over the next three to five years. These are:

1. Mature the Organization

2. Increase Our Value to Members

3. Expand Educational Outreach

4. Develop Programmatic Priorities

Each directive includes key strategies that when implemented, will lead to a more effective partnership and greater impact for the French Broad River community.

View or download full plan

Get involved with a Work Group!

Upcoming Meetings

The FBRP has three work groups actively promoting the Partnership’s mission and implementing strategies to achieve the greatest impact. All work groups are recruiting members.

Learn more about a work group on our website and get involved in our initiatives at one of these upcoming meetings:

Outreach & Education

3rd Weds each month

May 15th 1pm - 3pm


170 Lyman St, Asheville, NC 28801

Contact: Andrea Leslie


Business & Recreation

May 14th 10am - 12pm

New Belgium Brewing

21 Craven St, Asheville, NC 28806

Contact: Jay Hawthorne


Water Quality

June 18th 1pm - 2:30pm

Virtual - Teams Meeting

Contact: Tim Fox or Anne Keller



O&E Work Group members touring Blannahassett Island and restoration work done as a part of LoYoWa.

Outreach & Education

We support and develop outreach and education efforts to maintain and improve stream health within the French Broad River watershed. Currently, we are expanding the LoYoWa project to involve other businesses and develop local outreach ambassadors.

LoYoWa is the abbreviation for the Love Your Watershed: Cultivating River Stewards of the French Broad Basin project, which received funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Five Star & Urban Waters Restoration Program. The project’s results to date are: multiple streambank repair and live stake workshops; diverse social media content that has reached thousands of users; stickers, coasters, and posters distributed throughout the watershed; and educational signage, designed to connect the nine sites where they were installed for greater emphasis of watershed protection.

Business & Recreation

We develop positive community connections and enhances understanding of the monetary and aesthetic values of the French Broad River watershed. We work with businesses, recreation providers, and other interested stakeholders to support river-friendly and sustainable activities.

Current activities include:

Water Quality

We work to understand watershed issues, develop projects and approaches that improve water quality, and seek funding to implement those projects. We are currently looking for opportunities to promote green infrastructure to support better stormwater management and implementing the FBRP Strategic Plan.

We are also identifying restoration opportunities to improve the Upper Swannanoa River (eastern Buncombe County), Richland Creek (Haywood County), and Cane Creek (southeastern Buncombe County, northeastern Henderson County) watersheds; all are on the NC list of impaired waterways.

As part of the Cane Creek effort, we are hosting a public event on June 8, 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Turgua Brewery, 3131 Cane Creek Road, Fairview. We will provide information about the French Broad River watershed and the health of Cane Creek, stream benthic macroinvertebrate sampling for kids, a hellbender to meet, and a rain barrel workshop. All are welcome. Sign up for the free rain barrel workshop here.


The impact of the FBRP is growing and we need your help to keep the momentum moving forward. New members are key for helping us develop impactful projects, reach diverse audiences, and make a difference in our community. Membership is FREE and open to anyone with an interest in the health of the French Broad River Watershed – individuals, businesses, non-profits, academic organizations, local governments, etc...

Benefits include:

  • Access to a diverse network of like-minded people and organizations,
  • Access to shared skill-sets and planning tools,
  • Collaboration and coordination with other members to develop and implement projects,
  • Ability to request a Partnership-backed Letter of Support,
  • Opportunity to pursue large grant funds only accessible to partnership-type organizations,
  • Opportunity to guide the direction of future initiatives,
  • Promotion of your organization on our website and in marketing materials, and
  • Opportunity to be engaged in our active Work Groups (described above).

Please share with your networks and encourage others to get involved! Sign up here.

Images: Members on a FBR float guided by member organization Blue Heron Whitewater; supporting member organization Haywood Waterway's annual Polar Plunge; collaborating on invasive removal and live staking (Land of Sky Regional Council, RiverLink, and Blue Earth Planning, Engineering & Design)

In Other News....

6th FBRP Annual Meeting planning is getting underway. Our 5th Annual Meeting was held November 8, 2023, to much applause. The meeting included an incredible line-up of panelists all focused on one topic, “the French Broad River Watershed: The Intersection of the Environment and Economy”. Panels included (1) state and local elected officials and government, (2) industry stakeholders, and (3) business and tourism leaders. Over 100 people attended the event at Asheville-Buncombe Technical College that was described by Jane Margaret Bell, Chair of the Partnership, as not just an opportunity to talk, but an opportunity to “spark a dialogue that leads to action.” Based on the who’s who list of attendees, the questions and comments received from the attendees, and post-event media coverage, we can confidently say that dialogue was ignited. Now our Steering Committee and Work Groups are using the meeting results to guide our next efforts, which will include follow-up discussions at our next annual meeting coming this Fall, 2024. Follow us on social media for event announcements. If you would like to assist with meeting planning contact Jane Margaret at jmbell@wkdickson.com

Regional Stormwater PSA Campaign launched in January. Member organization RiverLink took the lead in securing funding for the campaign from the Community Foundation of Western NC, with support from Land of Sky Regional Council, and has contracted with Darby Communications to develop the campaign which includes an informational website, local individual and business feature stories, as well as media and social media outreach.

Help spread the word and link to the campaign from your channels as well - see here for content suggestions.

Facebook  Instagram