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News Stream
 June 2011
In This Issue
Georgia River Network News Stream
June 2011

1.    Success! Motorized Vehicles No Longer allowed in Georgia Waterways
2.    Ogeechee River Fish Kill
3.    Statewide Water Planning Deadline
4.    EPA Releases Searchable Website for Drinking Water Violations
5.    Pulaski County Adopts a Blueway Resolution in Support of their Local Water Trail
6.    Help Restore Critical Clean Water Protections To Our Nation’s Streams And Wetlands

Workshops/Conferences/Calendar Items
7.    2011 SRF Project Solicitation
8.    Streambank Restoration Workshop Using Natural Channel Design
9.    Great American Backyard Campout
10.    The 18th Annual Secchi Dip-In
11.    Online Fundraising Bootcamp
12.    Georgia Center for Nonprofits Board Leadership Conference
13.    Webinar: Addressing Low Flow Problems under the Clean Water Act
14.    River Network’s Salary Survey
15.    The Best Databases for River and Watershed Groups - Survey 2011

Grassroots Spotlight
16.    Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s Victory for Clean Water

Nonprofit Resources
17.    What’s the Responsibility of a Nonprofit Board Member?
18.    Nonprofit Snapshot
19.    New EPD Directory

Fundraising Deadlines
20.    Grant Opportunities

1.    Success! Motorized Off-Road Vehicles No Longer Allowed in Georgia Waterways
After four years of work by a committed group of people, legislation was passed last year on an issue that’s as critical to fish as it is to the people who like to fish for them. HB 207 passed the General Assembly in 2010, and thanks to the efforts of a coalition of dedicated folks, the use of motorized off-road vehicles is prohibited in perennial streams and rivers throughout Georgia.  

“You mess with my fishing and you’re messing with me,” said Representative Chuck Sims of Ambrose, Georgia, the author of the bill.  Sims, who lives on the Satilla River in Coffee County and who is a member of the Coffee County Fishing Club had been noticing ATVs eroding the banks of his local river for years and decided to do something about it.

 “People would ride the river bank from highway bridge to highway bridge--you know what kind of erosion that was causing.” Sims said. “It just made me so mad that they could do that. I love to fish and the river is part of life for me—and really the whole region.”

Sims wasn’t the only person who was angry about the way the Satilla was being treated.  In 2009 the Brantley County commission passed a local ordinance that prohibited the use of ATVs in the Little Satilla and Satilla Rivers of Brantley County.  State law at the time prohibited ATV use on roads or road shoulders statewide, but the penalty for this activity was a fine of only $25.  The Brantley County commission (all five of whom were members of the Satilla Riverkeeper) passed an ordinance that changed the fine structure to $250-$1000 for violating the existing state law, and expanded upon it to protect over 100 river miles in the county.  

“This came about for a few different reasons,” says Gordon Rogers, who was the Satilla Riverkeeper at the time the Brantley County Ordinance was passed.

“For one thing, the Brantley County commission was a group of people that cared about the river and they knew that this was a problem that needed a solution. For another, people were using the Satilla and Little Satilla as highways to get to private property they wanted to ride around on. They’d put in the river at a bridge and drive a long way—5 or 6 miles—down the channel to trespass on somebody’s property.  This ordinance made all that illegal.”

It wasn’t long before Brantley County’s new ordinance got statewide attention.  It wasn’t just South Georgia rivers that were being affected by irresponsible ATV use. Trout Streams in North Georgia were being treated poorly by ATV riders as well.   

According to Gordon Rogers, “Trout Unlimited really kicked in support for the statewide bill and brought the support of some state Senators from North Georgia like Chip Rogers and Jim Butterworth.”

“Down in South Georgia, people were riding their ATVs on the banks and in the river when it was low enough in the summer. Up in those north Georgia trout streams, people were riding in them all year long and just destroying the trout habitat.  HB 207 passing is a win-win for everybody,” said Representative Sims.

Passage of this measure took four years of diligent work by House and Senate legislators, the Satilla and Flint Riverkeeper organizations, the Georgia Wildlife Federation, Georgia Trout Unlimited, along with many others, including DNR commissioner Mark Williams (who was a Brantley County legislator for much of the process).

Now that HB 207 is a law, enforcement is the key to keeping motorized vehicles out of Georgia’s rivers and streams. If you see someone riding an ATV on a road, the shoulder of a road or in a river or stream, chances are they are breaking the law (although it should be noted that the law does not apply to roads or streams on private property and there are exemptions for certain types of ATV use). This activity can be reported to any state enforcement agency—local police, the DNR, highway patrol, etc.  So keep an eye out and thanks to everyone from the grassroots to the grasstops who made this happen!

Click HERE for a look at HB 207.

2.    Ogeechee River Fish Kill
On May 19th, a fish kill was reported on the Ogeechee River in Screven County, and wildlife fatalities were reported over the next week as far down river as Kings Ferry in Chatham County. On Sunday May 22, Georgia's DNR and EPD issued a public notice to not swim in the River or ingest fish taken from it. However, many friends and families had already enjoyed a full weekend on the River.

Reported illnesses have ranged from skin rashes to stomach upsets. Anyone having health concerns regarding the Ogeechee River are urged to contact their family physician and report it to their respective health departments. To date, over 33,000 fish have died in the Ogeechee River. The Ogeechee Riverkeeper (ORK) began investigating the fish kill immediately upon hearing reports of the situation, taking water and fish samples.  These samples were sent to laboratories for independent testing.
On June 6, the EPA released its data and a memorandum that outlined its conclusion that the fish died of a bacterial disease called columnaris, which only attacks fish under stress.  To date, conclusive evidence of what caused the stress to the fish population has not been confirmed.  Georgia EPD officials stated on June 6th that they are focusing their investigation on a Dover, GA textile plant: King America Finishing.
Unfortunately, by the time the fish kill was reported, it is likely that much of the evidence of the root cause of the fish kill was diluted and washed downstream, leaving thousands of dead fish behind.  Therefore, the exact cause may be difficult to pinpoint. According to an EPA memorandum dated June 3, 2011, concentrations of three chemicals found were of particular concern:  ammonia, formaldehyde and hydrogen peroxide.  
Click HERE for a FAQ on the Ogeechee River fish kill.
Click HERE for the EPA documents on the fish kill.
ORK is calling on the state of Georgia to more effectively monitor pollution in our waters and respond more quickly and efficiently to citizen reports of pollution. Data collected by the state needs to be shared and disseminated in a much timelier manner.  Finally, permits for all polluters along the Ogeechee River, including King America Finishing, need a thorough review.  
Governor Nathan Deal’s phone number is:  404-656-1776. To find out who your local legislators are, go to, select Georgia in the box, and type in your zip code at the top of the next page.  

3.    Statewide Water Planning Deadline
The Regional Water Planning Council’s Initial Recommended Regional Water Plans are out for public comment.  And the deadline is June 23rd.  

Background: “The 2004 Comprehensive State-wide Water Management Planning Act authorized the development of the State Water Plan. The State Water Plan in turn, calls for state-wide regional water planning to provide the necessary local and regional perspectives to ensure” the state’s water resources are sustainably managed through 2050.  For more information and to locate your Regional Water Planning Council, click HERE.

All of the Georgia Regional Water plans say that conservation, regulation, and “wise use” of water resources is imperative because “while water in Georgia is abundant, it is not an unlimited resource” and many of the Regional Councils evaluated water conservation and efficiency as a water management tool.  However, many Councils fall back on structural water supply solutions (new reservoirs, interbasin transfers, etc.) to provide for future water needs or do not provide strong recommendations to improve water quality.

The Georgia River Network will submit comments as a member of the Georgia Water Coalition, but individual comments are also vital to the process.  Please consider commenting on your region’s plan and let the Georgia Department of Natural Resources know how important Georgia’s long-term water planning is for you.  For instructions on how to submit your comments – THE DEADLINE IS JUNE 23, 2011 – click HERE.

4.    EPA Releases Searchable Website for Drinking Water Violations
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced improvements to the availability and usability of drinking water data in the Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) tool. ECHO now allows the public to search to see whether drinking water in their community met the standards required under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), which is designed to safeguard the nation’s drinking water and protect people’s health. SDWA requires states to report drinking water information periodically to EPA. ECHO also includes a new feature identifying drinking water systems that have had serious noncompliance.

The new Safe Drinking Water Act information on EPA’s website provides:
 - Users with information about whether their drinking water has exceeded drinking water standards.
 - A serious violators report that lists all water suppliers with serious noncompliance.
 - EPA’s 2009 National Public Water Systems Compliance Report, which is a national summary of compliance and enforcement at public drinking water systems.

EPA’s enforcement goals for clean water include working with states and tribes to ensure clean drinking water for all communities and improving transparency by making facility compliance data available to the public. The release of drinking water violations data in ECHO advances these goals and creates additional incentives for government agencies to improve their reporting of drinking water violations and increase efforts to address those violations.

Click HERE to view the Safe Drinking Water Act search page.

Click HERE to view the Enforcement and Compliance History Online tool.

5.    Pulaski County Adopts a Blueway Resolution in Support of their Local Water Trail
Pulaski County passed a resolution in support of their local water trail on the Ocmulgee River. The Ocmulgee Blueway is the first water trail to have a statement by a county government, supporting the water trail. We encourage you to approach your county and/or city governments and encourage them to adopt a similar resolution in support of your water trail.   Click HERE to view the resolution.

6.    Help Restore Critical Clean Water Protections To Our Nation’s Streams And Wetlands
In the past 10 years, important clean water protections have been removed from at least 20 million acres of wetlands and countless miles of headwater streams. The EPA and Army Corps of Engineers have recently issued new guidance that would restore Clean Water Act (CWA) protections for many streams and wetlands that, right now, are not protected. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson needs to hear from anglers, paddlers, and other clean water advocates that they support EPA’s efforts to restore clean water protections for our nation’s rivers and streams.
Action Needed: E-mail EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and tell her you support EPA’s efforts to restore clean water protections to our nation’s rivers and streams at and include “docket number EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0409” in the subject line.

Deadline for Responding: July 1, 2011
7.    2011 SRF Project Solicitation
The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) has reopened the solicitation for project proposals for the Clean Water or Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs – but time is tight, proposals are due July 1.

What you can do: Encourage your local water supplier to apply for funds for a water efficiency or green infrastructure project.
•    20% of Georgia’s $46.8 million for the Clean Water and Drinking Water SRFs must be used for green infrastructure, water and energy efficiency, and environmentally innovative projects.
•    Subsidization (grants) of 30% of the project cost or $500,000 is available to One Georgia communities.
•    Water efficiency projects qualify for a reduced interest rate of 1%, as compared with the usual 3%.

If you have questions call or e-mail Jenny Hoffner at Jenny Hoffner at (404) 373-3602 or

8.    Streambank Restoration Workshop Using Natural Channel Design
The Soque Partnership, in cooperation with the North Carolina State University Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, will host a stream restoration workshop at 4382 Hwy. 115 West Demorest, GA (approximately 3 miles West of downtown Clarkesville on Hwy. 115) on Friday, June 24 from 9:00-11:00 a.m.  

 This workshop will feature a local project to restore approximately 450-500 linear feet of severely degraded stream, a tributary to Yellowbank Creek and the Soque River.  This natural channel design project seeks to restore failing stream banks, reconnect the stream to its floodplain, improve water quality and instream habitat, and re-vegetate the riparian zone using suitable native plants.  The tour will include a discussion of project goals, as well as practical design and construction considerations.  The tour will be led by Greg Jennings of N.C. State and Darrell Westmoreland of North State Environmental Inc., the contractor for the project.

The purpose of the workshop is to promote and encourage stream restoration in Georgia.  This event is designed for conservation coordinators, University scientists, local government officials, State and federal employees and others interested in promoting stream restoration in Georgia.  

To RSVP, or for questions or additional information, please contact Duncan Hughes at (706) 754-7872 or

9.    Great American Backyard Campout
On Saturday, June 25, 2011, thousands of friends and families in the Southeast and approximately 100,000 people across the nation will gather in their backyards, neighborhoods, communities and parks to take part in the Great American Backyard Campout. As part of National Wildlife Federation’s Be Out There™ movement, the Great American Backyard Campout lets kids explore a whole other world right in their own backyard, together with neighbors, with friends at a local camp ground, or at a large community camping event.

Register your backyard campsite HERE and also get helpful information to make your camping experience a fun one including recipes, nocturnal wildlife guides, campfire songs and games, nature activities and more. You can also visit or contact any REI store for more information.

Register now to join the fun!

For more information, please contact the National Wildlife Federation at 678-436-5104 or via email at

10.    The 18th Annual Secchi Dip-In
Participate in this year’s Secchi Dip-In, June 25- July 17! During the three week event in June and July, volunteers demonstrate that they can provide valuable continent-wide, and even world-wide, water quality data.
In an era of increasing urbanization, it is not a trivial exercise to examine whether urbanization or other disturbances are affecting our rivers, streams and lakes. Find out more at

11.    Online Fundraising Bootcamp
What: eDollars
When: Aug. 25 - Oct. 13, 2011
Invest a small amount of staff time and money now to maximize your long term fundraising potential. This program sets you up to succeed.
eDollars is a five session, distance learning webinar series with personalized consulting for you and your team.  Develop online fundraising goals and try out complementary strategies to reach them.  eDollars can help you establish email fundraising campaigns, web systems and more.
•    Design your own online fundraising campaign, share your progress, and receive valuable feedback from peers
•    Know the 5 essential capacities your organization needs to launch a successful online fundraising campaign
•    Refine your online donation site to increase donations
•    Identify metrics to analyze and track your success.

Register for e-Dollars HERE.

12.    Georgia Center for Nonprofits Board Leadership Conference
Date: 6/21/2011
Time: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Location: Loudermilk Center, 40 Courtland Street Northeast, Atlanta, GA
Cost: $99.00 (GCN member), $199.00 (non-member)
This conference, featuring the area’s most seasoned nonprofit governance experts, offers nonprofit executives and board members the help they need to increase their knowledge of the governance process and strengthen the partnership between executives and board members. Click HERE for more information.

13.    Webinar: Addressing Low Flow Problems under the Clean Water Act
Date: Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Time: 1 p.m. (E/T)
Presenter: Merritt Frey
This intermediate-level webinar will explore ways to better use Clean Water Act tools to protect and restore in-stream flows in our rivers. The discussion will include tying water quality standards to flow needs, applying the states’ 401 water quality certification power more broadly to flow issues, and expanding creative use of the Total Maximum Daily Load program to better identify and remedy habitat and/or flow-related impairments. Each finding is illustrated with real world examples from the states and includes recommendations for – and limitations to – importing the policy ideas into new states. Participants should have a basic understanding of Clean Water Act concepts in order to benefit from this webinar…bone up with our online course at

14.    River Network’s Salary Survey
The River Network Partner Salary Survey will collect an overview of salaries and benefits provided to nonprofit river conservation organization employees nationwide. River Network will compile results and provide them to their Partnership. Who knows, this is the information that just may justify your next raise! Only one person per organization need respond. Estimated completion time: less than 10 minutes. Click HERE to take the survey.

15.    The Best Databases for River and Watershed Groups - Survey 2011
Choosing a database is probably the most consequential software choice a river group can make, and it’s nice to know what’s worked well for others.  Every other year, a nonprofit called LeadGreen ( surveys river and watershed groups to find out what member and donor databases have served them best.  LeadGreen then posts the answers to the surveys on their website - here are the reports from the 2009-2010 surveys.
Please take this year’s LeadGreen database survey HERE.
If you'd like to talk more about database options, call Baird Straughn at LeadGreen: (301) 775-5944.

16.    UCR’s Victory for Clean Water
Judge Kristin Miller of the Office of State Administrative Hearings issued a final decision in Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s (UCR) appeal of a permit issued by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) to Forsyth County to discharge six million gallons daily (MGD) of treated wastewater into the Chattahoochee River from its Fowler/Shakerag Wastewater Reclamation Facility.

In a precedent-setting decision, Judge Miller found that the permitted discharge would result in lower water quality in the Chattahoochee River. After analyzing the technical and economic feasibility of alternative levels of treatment, the judge concluded that the lowering of water quality is not necessary to accommodate important social or economic growth because Forsyth County can treat its wastewater and discharge significantly less pollution at minimal additional cost. Thus, the judge concluded that the permit issued by EPD to Forsyth County violated state and federal water quality laws. Federal and state law prohibit lowering water quality unless necessary for important social or economic development in the area.

For more information, visit UCR’s website.

17.    What’s the Responsibility of a Nonprofit Board Member?
Each month, Jesslyn Shields, Georgia River Network’s Watershed Support Coordinator, answers a question she gets asked a lot by river group staff and boards. Click HERE for more Frequently Asked Questions:

Question: I was recently asked to be on the board of my local river group and I accepted—perhaps too hastily.  My problem is, now that I’m on the board, I’m not sure what my job is. Can you help me?
Answer: Being on a nonprofit board can be really fun—some people are in it for the chance to socialize with likeminded people, some are in it to feel like they’re making a difference for their local river, and some people—like you, maybe?—are there because someone asked them.  Click HERE to read the rest of Jesslyn's answer!

18.    Nonprofit Snapshot
The Nonprofit Snapshot is a service that provides a quick, comprehensive, and affordable examination of a nonprofit organization’s health across ten critical areas from Financial Oversight to Board Recruiting.
This report highlights what the nonprofit does well and indicates which organizational practices may need improvement.  The Nonprofit Snapshot process is designed to be quick, efficient and comprehensive.  Donors and volunteers also appreciate the Nonprofit Snapshot’s concise summary.
The Nonprofit Snapshot is especially useful for organizations that are about to begin a strategic planning process, may soon conduct a board retreat, or may simply desire some external validation on current practices and the organization’s state of affairs.  Click HERE to visit the website.

19.     New EPD Directory
The EPD has recently updated their staff directory, which includes staff of the watershed Protection Branch.  Click HERE to view the new directory.

20.    Fundraising Deadlines
The following foundations are either new to our list of grants or have upcoming deadlines to submit proposals. To view grant makers that give throughout the year, visit the grants page of our website HERE.
•    AEC Trust Technical Grants are made to charitable organizations seeking technical assistance. Click here for more details. Deadlines: April 1 and September 1.
•    AGL Resources support environmental stewardship projects such as clean air, conservation, & green space. Unsolicited grants are welcome but are rarely approved. Deadline: Quarterly. Click HERE for more details.
•    Ben and Jerry's Foundation provides grants ranging from $1,000 - $15,000 for grassroots organizing that leads to environmental change and addresses the root causes of environmental problems. Letters of inquiry may be submitted at any time and are reviewed three times a year. Click here for more information.
•    The mission of the Educational Foundation of America is to improve individual lives and their surroundings through education and awareness, in hopes of bettering humanity and the world we inhabit. The Foundation’s areas of interest include the environment, reproductive freedom, theatre, drug policy reform, democracy, peace and national security issues, education, medicine, and human services. Letters of inquiry may be submitted by email at any time. Visit
•    Environmental Protection Agency: Source Reduction Assistance Grant Program EPA annually awards grants and cooperative agreements under the Source Reduction Assistance (SRA) Grant Program to support pollution prevention/source reduction and/or resource conservation projects that reduce or eliminate pollution at the source. The grant program does not support projects that rely on reducing pollution by using recycling, treatment, disposal or energy recovery activities. This solicitation announces that EPA’s Regional Pollution Prevention (P2) Program Offices anticipate having up to $130,000, per region, to issue SRA awards in FY 2010. EPA will issue the awards in the form of grants and/or cooperative agreements. All funding will be awarded and managed by the EPA Regional P2 Program Offices. All of the forgoing estimates are subject to the availability of Congressional appropriations. Click HERE for more information.
•    The Home Depot Foundation makes grants to 501(c)(3) tax exempt public charities for several purposes including community cleanup. Grants typically range from $10,000 to $50,000. Preference is given to proposals that encourage volunteerism and community engagement that result in the restoration or conservation of community and wildland forests for a healthier environment that address one or both of the following: restore urban or rural forests for environmental and economic benefit using community volunteers in planting and maintenance efforts, promote sustainable forestry management to ensure responsible harvesting and use of wood resources. Proposals are accepted throughout the year, and grants are awarded four times a year. Visit
•    The Impact Fund awards grants to non-profit legal firms, private attorneys and/or small law firms who seek to advance social justice in the areas of civil and human rights, environmental justice and/or poverty law. They seek to provide funding for public interest litigation that will potentially benefit a large number of people, lead to significant law reform, or raise public consciousness. The Impact Fund has awarded over $4 million in general and donor-advised grants, since its inception. The Impact Funds awards grants four times per year, with the average grant size being $10,000 - $15,000. The maximum grant amount awarded to any single applicant per year is $25,000. Pre-applications reviewed 4 times a year. Click HERE for more information.
•    Ittleson Foundation supports innovative pilot, model and demonstration projects that will help move individuals, communities, and organizations from environmental awareness to environmental activism by changing attitudes and behaviors. Initial letters of inquiry due by April 1st or September 1st. Click HERE for more information.
•    The Kodak American Greenways Program Grant provides “seed” grant awards to organizations that are growing our nation's network of greenways, blueways, trails and natural areas. Deadline: June 15, 2011. Click here for more information.
•    Mead Westvaco Foundation's primary focus is to enhance the quality of life in communities where MeadWestvaco has major operations and where MeadWestvaco employees and their families live and work. This includes providing direct grant support and encouraging active management and employee leadership involvement and volunteerism. Priorities for contributions in small and/or rural communities, where there are fewer sources of contributions, often address a broad range of needs. Support for urban communities is generally more targeted. Additionally, the Foundation seeks to provide leadership for advancing research, education and public dialogue on public policy issues of special interest, such as the economy, regulation and environmental stewardship. Proposals for grants are accepted throughout the year. Grants range from $250 to $10,000. Click here for more information.
•    Norcross Wildlife Foundation provides funding for equipment and publications. Grants range from $1,000 - $5,000. Visit
•    The Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation promotes a sustainable and just social and natural system by supporting grassroots organizations and movements committed to this goal. The Foundation provides support to organizations nationwide in the following funding categories: Protecting the Health and Environment of Communities Threatened by Toxics; Advancing Environmental Justice; Promoting a Sustainable Agricultural and Food System; and Ensuring Quality Reproductive Health Care as a Human Right. Applications are accepted throughout the year. Visit
•    Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance from the National Parks Service helps partners plan successful locally-led outdoor recreation and natural resource conservation projects.  Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance (RTCA) staff help with partnership-building to achieve community-set goals, organizational development, assessing resources, developing concept plans, public education and participation, and identifying potential sources of funding. The project applicant may be a state or local agency, tribe, non-profit organization, or citizens' group.  Federal agencies may apply in partnership with a local organization. Applications are due by August 1, 2011 for assistance beginning the following fiscal year (October 1 through September 30).  For more information, visit        
•    Techsoup - Discounted Computer Software Click on this website to purchase computer software at great prices. Must be 501c3.
•    Water Protection Network’s Action Assistance Fund is supported by grants from the McKnight Foundation, and other sources. The fund disperses small grants to WPN Members working to ensure that water projects and policies are economically and environmentally sound.  In many cases, member groups use the fund to hire technical experts that aid in stopping controversial, environmentally destructive and/or fiscally unjustified proposals and projects, and/or to promote non-structural, restoration, and 21st century solutions to water challenges. Twice a year, the Network will solicit proposals and award grants of up to $5,000.  The deadline for submitting an application for this 2011 Spring-Summer funding cycle is Friday June 24, 2011. Click here for more information.

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