Meet the PHHAT Team

To meet the challenge, we formed the Paddlers Hemlock Health Action Taskforce or PHHAT – a group of experienced kayakers and dedicated conservationists committed to saving the remaining eastern hemlocks of the Green River Gorge. Key partners such as American Whitewater, Hemlock Restoration Initiative, MountainTrue and the NC Wildlife Resources Commission contributed guidance, training, and tools that are essential to this project.

Team Shot
The PHAAT Team assembled on December 3rd, 2017 to treat the green. From left to right: Christoph Berenotto, Levi Rhodes, Kevin Colburn of American Whitewater, Regina Goldkuhl of MountainTrue and AmeriCorps, Alex Harvey, Amy Little, Green Riverkeeper Gray Jernigan, Josh Goldbach and Ally Metts.


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We are specially trained in the skills and safety procedures needed to transport chemicals down some of the most challenging whitewater in the Southeast so that we can effectively treat hemlock trees in the most remote sections of the Green River Gorge.

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Kevin Coulburn bouncing down Bayless Boof, a fun class IV rapid on the upper section of the Green.

We do this because as kayakers, we love recreating on the Green River and want to keep it running safe, clean, and strainer-free. As conservationists, we know how special this particular ecosystem is and we want to protect its biologically diversity.

“The river provides us with pure joy, meaningful lessons, and lasting relationships with other boaters and the river itself. It only makes sense that we give something back. This project combines some of my most cherished passions: whitewater, science, and conservation – how could I say no to that?” – Regina Goldkuhl, MountainTrue

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Levi Rhodes nailing the line on the infamous Gorilla rapid, a committing class V on the Narrows.