The action we hope to see is a "build it back better" campaign,  starting with petition drive online to encourage Mayor and Council to include a whitewater feature or features when they repair the breach.

This can benefit multiple users at various flows, from museum families enjoying a lazy tube ride to competition playboating and fire rescue swift water instruction opportunities.

Please encourage everyone to get behind this campaign.


See the reports linked here:

WW Report - Final Report.pdf

Shipley WW Proposal.pdf

I am pleased to announce three new offerings of an ACA-sanctioned Level 3: River Safety & Rescue course. 
Dates available: June 27th, July 25th, and August 29th

One day 8 hour course focusing heavily on self-rescue and prevention techniques 

Instruction will begin promptly at 9 a.m. and will take place on the Lower Saluda River in Columbia, SC...

The cost is $125 per person and is payable by check or money order 

There is a minimum of 3 students required to hold the course
Registration deadlines: 
June 22nd (for the June 27th course) 
July 20th (for the July 25th course)
August 26th (for the August 29th course)
Please contact me by email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or message me on FB (John Derrick) to register. Once you register, you will receive a confirmation email including a gear list and some further details.
Safety skills can save a life – including your own!
            John Derrick

Locks will change on April 1st. Keys will be available via Get Your Gear On during Business Hours: Tues. – Sun. 10am – 6pm. Plus, after hours (Parking Lot Sales) will be offered by Announcement or Appointment. First available date will be Tuesday, March 31st at the Palmetto Paddler meeting. After that you can pick up keys at Get Your Gear On.

Key prices are $75 per key. $65 if you are a current member of American Whitewater (must show proof of membership to receive the discount).

Family keys may be offered at a discount (after the initial key purchase) for spouses and live at home children (until the age of 21) for $50 each. Holding Key members (as opposed to new) may continue their key usage without interruption, by following the above stated changes and the rules stated below. New Key Members must have a recommendation from a Holding Key Member, and both the Holding Key Member And The New Key Member may be held to the standard of rule, laid out below. If rules are broken then the Parking Lot Board will handle consequences on a case by case basis. We (Saluda Lot Members) are our Brother’s and Sister’s watchful eyes. 

  1. Buy a key and Hang Tag (Hang Tag must be displayed on the car at all times)
  2. No loaning and/or copying your key
  3. You are responsible for your guests’ actions
  4. If your key is being used, you must be present
  5. Do not damage the property; if you do it will result in loss of key access.
  6. Park in appropriate parking places; do not block the gate or access road.
  7. Clean up your trash. Pack it in, Pack it out
  8. No co-owning a key
  9. Mandatory clean up and/or work days. Must attend one work day a year.
  10. Key dates are from April to April
  11. Lock gate behind you! Every time!!! No dummy locking the gate
  12. Key owners only. Do not let anyone else in the gate unless you have seen their key and it works the lock properly.
  13. If you have a large private group (ie. Palmetto Paddlers, Boy Scouts, etc) you must contact a board member one week prior to the event for approval of the extra cars.
  14. If you are paddling with someone from out of town who drives to the river separate than you, you must inform a board member of the extra vehicle.
  15. No pets left in cars. Any pets left in cars may be subject to release by any available means to gain vehicle entrance, if their health is deemed in danger by a decision of a Board Member or member on watch duty. Pets must be under control at all times.
  16. No transfer of keys. Period.
  17. You are under the jurisdiction of all State of South Carolina laws.
  18. Be mindful when changing clothes. No public drunkenness or rude behavior.
  19. Access the river at your own risk
  20. River access can be gained from this property ONLY by walking across the RR tracks at the Candi Lane RR crossing. No crossing of the tracks elsewhere will be tolerated.
  21. No cars are to be left overnight (18 hr max limit) Unless, express permission has been granted by the Parking lot Board… or the controlling parties at Get Your Gear On.
  22. No camping… Unless, express permission has been granted by the Parking lot Board… or the controlling parties at Get Your Gear On.
  23. Your key can be taken away for breaking any of the above stated rules by majority vote of the Board.
  24. Absolutely No Driving over the Railroad ties.



Action Alerts


  • Surface Water Withdrawal Legislation – H.3564

    • This bill would require all users who withdraw more than 3 million gallons a month to get a permit. It grandfathers in existing users and protects our rivers and current water users (especially current farmers) from new large water withdrawals.

    • House Ag & Natural Resources subcommittee hearing on May 6th, 2:30 pm at 410 Blatt Bldg

    • Contact your Representative and tell them to support H.3564

    • Contact members of the Agriculture subcommittee and tell them to support H.3564 (Click here to contact the House Ag and Natural Resources Committee)

    • Subcommittee contact info:

      • Rep. V. Stephen "Steve" Moss - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

      • Rep. William M. "Bill" Chumley - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

      • Rep. Gregory Duckworth - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

      • Rep. Russell L. Ott - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Lexington County Stream Buffers

    • Lexington currently requires 100 foot buffers for streams and rivers

    • Developers are pushing to reduce that significantly

    • Buffers are very important for water quality

    • If you live in Lexington County contact you county council member and ask them not to reduce stream buffers.

    • Lexington County Council contact info can be found at:


Post Office Box 5294 • Columbia, South Carolina 29250

(803) 760-3357 •



Members and Friends:

With the return of warmer temperatures and Daylight Saving Time, it seems that everyone is getting ready to get their boats in the water again!  Your board has been making plans for the year ahead; we would like to share the following information with you.

Check your membership status!  Many of us have allowed our membership to lapse.  You can renew using PayPal on our web page.  You can check your membership by using the Membership Subscription History feature in the Membership menu.  Stay current with our new auto-renewal option!  It comes with an automatically generated reminder of your annual draft and can be edited at any time.

Every year, Palmetto Paddlers writes checks to the American Canoe Association and American Whitewater for affiliate memberships.  We also make contributions to Canoeing for Kids, Congaree Riverkeeper, American Rivers and Team River Runner.  Last year, we donated money to Friends of the Edisto as they faced expenses challenging the consequences of the Surface Water Withdrawl Act. We do good things in the river community.

The board would like to raise dues from $15 individual to $20 individual with family memberships increasing from $20 to $25.  This is something that the entire membership decides; we plan to send a survey to you in the near future for your vote.
Memberships are good for one year from the date of enrollment-if your membership has lapsed, you may want to renew before our rates rise ;)

We are pleased to formalize the club’s instructor incentive application process for our Safety and Instruction program.  This program is modeled on the hugely successful program run by the Tennessee Valley Canoe Club.  Our S&I Chairperson, John Derrick and board members Les Case and John Brooks will review applications from candidates planning to obtain ACA Instructors certification in Coastal Kayak, River Kayak, Swiftwater Rescue or SUP.  We have a limited number of $250 stipends that will be paid to instructors upon successful completion of their respective course.  Look for this application on our web site.  It will need to be returned to John Derrick by April 15th.  The club has established a separate Safety and Instruction fund for this purpose.  The proceeds from instructional clinics and Iceman concessions support this effort.  We are excited about growing our members’ skill sets- that rising tide lifts all boats!

Please mark you calendars for River Rocks on Saturday, April 11.  Congaree Riverkeeper and Conservation Member at Large Bill Stangler appreciates your support, whether it is through volunteer efforts at the festival or through the sheer joy of joining the festivities.

There is good news regarding the formerly private parcel on the Broad River that has been home to the Columbia Rowing Club: site improvements by Richland County are near completion and the site is now open AS A TAKE OUT ONLY!  We hope to see additional access points upstream on the Broad, but in the meantime, this opens up a lovely option for a Harbison State Forest to Columbia Rowing Club outing. 


Walk Bike Columbia has worked hard to provide planning assistance to City of Columbia and Richland County Councils.  They are asking for a show of support as the plan is presented to city leaders on Monday April 6 at 5:15 and Tuesday April 7 at 6:00.  The Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) is organizing a bike ride to each of these events.

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