River conservation is my life’s passion. Over the years I have worked diligently to align my education, career and volunteer paths towards river protection and advocacy. I enjoy meeting and working with those who share the same desire to protect our rivers and strive to educate and empower others to do the same.
When my family moved out to the North Saluda River near Marietta several years ago, I never imagined I would be presiding over a watershed group formed to protect it. I am honored and committed to serving our community to help raise awareness about the streams and rivers of the Upper Saluda Watershed, the threats they face, and the value of their protection.
I am committed to the goal of restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of our waters to ensure they are fishable and swimmable with sustainable flows for future generations. The Saluda River and its tributaries provide some of the highest quality drinking water in the country. Headwaters are designated as outstanding natural resource waters and are home to a wide diversity of fish species, including native brook trout. For these and many other reasons, the Saluda is worth saving. I hope you will join us in helping to monitor and protect the streams and rivers of the Saluda River Watershed.
Melanie Ruhlman is a water resources specialist with over 20 years of professional experience in water resource assessment and planning. Her professional career has included work in industry, government, and private consulting in Atlanta, Athens, and Greenville. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Forestry from North Carolina State University and master’s degree in Forest Hydrology from the University of Georgia.
Melanie’s areas of expertise include watershed assessment and planning, stormwater management, watershed hydrology, water quality, erosion and sediment control, stream surveys, soils, wetlands, public outreach and education, and technical writing.
She currently serves as President of Save Our Saluda, an all-volunteer citizen based watershed group whose mission is to protect and restore the Saluda River Watershed through environmental awareness and citizen action. She has also led and worked closely with other river conservation organizations and committees in both South Carolina and Georgia, and has been appointed to various stakeholder and citizen advisory groups. Melanie enjoys life on the North Saluda River in Marietta, South Carolina with her husband and two children. She loves paddling, camping, biking, hiking and gardening.