About Us

Our mission is to empower communities to protect and restore the water where they live, work, and play.

WaterWays is a Chattanooga, Tennessee based non-profit working with communities across the Southeastern United States to bring awareness and stewardship to their watersheds. Since programming began in 2004 in Ciceron, St. Lucia as the Caribbean Student Environmental Alliance, our organization has evolved from a small student environmental group to an international organization focused on watershed health and restoration. Thanks to the ongoing support of the diverse communities we work with from the Caribbean Basin to the Southeastern US, WaterWays has been empowering individuals to take positive action in their watersheds for the past twenty years.

Our Organization

In 2004, Mary Beth Sutton founded The Caribbean Student Environmental Alliance and began environmental programming in St. Lucia.

In 2008 The Caribbean Student Environmental Alliance began programming in the Southeastern United States – thus the names Caribbean-SEA and TennesSEA were created to distinguish the divisions.

To support our mission, the organization opened a repurposed gear store called The Gear Closet in Chattanooga, TN. Every purchase of gently used outdoor gear directly funds our work both in the Caribbean and in the U.S.

In 2019, The Caribbean Student Environmental Alliance, Caribbean-SEA and TennesSEA rebranded to WaterWays.

Together we are one organization with the mission of empowering community members to take positive action towards restoring watersheds where they live, work and play!

A Note from our Founder and Executive Director

Mary Beth Sutton

Nonprofits are a different kind of business where we are not competitors but work together toward a unified vision. We NEED each other, and we work closely with many partners across our region. Thanks to the American Water Foundation, we embarked on a project to train Lookout Mountain Conservancy interns from Howard High School about Green Infrastructure. They also learned how to identify and rescue native plants from a development site with our Wild Plant Rescue program. They have now used those plants to plant a rain garden. Full circle. With partners and outdoor time, we accomplished so much this year. I am so proud of our WaterWays team: staff, Board, and volunteers who are helping us leap forward in our work. Thanks to you, too, for helping, for it takes us all to protect our precious water resources.

We are a 501(c)3, non-profit organization focusing on educating the public about local watershed issues and sustainable community solutions. WaterWays works throughout the Southeastern United States and the Caribbean Basin.

Income from our thrift store for outdoor gear and clothing, The Gear Closet, directly supports our mission.

If you are interested in bringing WaterWays to your community or group, contact us at marybeth@mywaterways.org.