Decatur, AL’s David Whiteside is spearheading an effort to preserve and maintain the Tennessee River with the help of those in the music and entertainment industry.
As a student of University of Vermont, Whiteside struck up a friendship with Phish drummer Jon Fishman along with founding the Black Warrior Riverkeeper project as an undergraduate thesis and working for the Waterkeeper Alliance. Since then, Whiteside served as Executive Director and Staff Riverkeeper at the Tennessee Riverkeeper, an organization tasked with maintaining the Tennessee River.
“They’re constantly pushing the envelope and leading the way to improve the environment in America, to reduce the environmental impact of their tour, to educate their fans and to raise money for environmental groups,” Whiteside said of Phish. ““I realized that if other bands could do even a portion of what [Phish] had done then all of a sudden we’re going to have a lot of big supporters.”
Whiteside has since raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations for local environment groups across the country through those in the music industry as well as entertainment, working with the likes of Jack Johnson, Zach Galifinakis, John Legend, Dan Aykroyd and others.
For more information on Whiteside and the Tennessee Riverkeeper, visit the organization’s Facebook page.