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News Stream
March 2012
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In This Issue

Georgia River Network News Stream
March 2012


News
1.  GRN Welcomes Gwyneth Moody to the Staff
2.  Chattahoochee River Designated America’s First National Water Trail
3.  Legislative Update
4.  Altamaha Riverkeeper is Hiring a New Riverkeeper
5.  Savannah Riverkeeper Challenge
6.  Top Monitoring Programs in the State Run by Georgia River Groups!

Workshops/Conferences/Calendar Items
7.  Register for Weekend for Rivers: Highlights Edition!
8.  Keeping it Wild Altamaha River Paddle and Campout
9.  Chattooga Conservancy Native Cane Transplanting
10.  Upper Etowah River Alliance Annual Meeting
11.  Taste the Flint
12.  2012 SE NALMS Lake & Watershed Conference
13.  Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society (FMCS) Meeting

Nonprofit Resources
14.   FAQ:  The Riverkeeper Model
15.  Stories: Clinically Proven to Work!
16.  Free Online Diagnostic Tool for Your Group
17.  Getting Started with Pinterest

Fundraising Deadlines
18.  Grant Opportunities

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1.    GRN Welcomes Gwyneth Moody to the Staff
Gwyneth joins GRN as our new Community Programs Coordinator.  You can read more about Gwyneth by clicking HERE.

2.    Chattahoochee River Designated America’s First National Water Trail
This month, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar unveiled the National Water Trails System, a new network that will increase access to water-based outdoor recreation, encourage community stewardship of local waterways, and promote tourism that fuels local economies across America.  

The Chattahoochee River Water Trail in Atlanta will be the first river to be designated as a National Water Trail under the new system.  The water trail travels through 48 miles of river within the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.  The park serves 3.2 million visitors annually, most from the local Atlanta metro-region. In addition to providing over 65% of the public greenspace in this urban region, the river provides most of Atlanta’s drinking water.  The park and new water trail contain 18 developed public access points and connects with other local city and county parks.  The river is heavily used by anglers, tubers, kayakers, canoers, and rafters.  

To see pictures of the Chattahoochee River Water Trail, click HERE.

Click HERE to learn more about the National Trails System.

3.    Legislative Update
We have crossed over to the other side.  There are only six legislative days left this session and Wednesday March 7, 2012 marked the 30th day of the Georgia Legislative Session, also known as Crossover Day, the final day a bill must pass out of at least one chamber of the legislature. There are now three bills that we are working on with our partners in the Georgia Water Coalition this session to ensure Georgia's waterways are protected for current and future generations and these bills NEED YOUR ACTION TODAY. Click HERE to learn more about the bills and action needed. Here they are in a nutshell:

-HB 811 addresses a problem where several fees – including fees collected at landfills and on tires that are supposed to go to clean up old or illegal dump sites – are not spent on the purpose they were collected for.  This bill would restrict re-appropriation or “looting” from these funds.

-SB 362 would allow a few people who want to mine submerged “deadhead logs” from Georgia rivers to set their own price rather than pay a fair price set by the state for these valuable logs.  This practice would disturb aquatic environments and stir up dangerous metals and other pollutants resting on river bottoms.  Now in the House, legislators have received hundreds of messages from constituents asking them to vote “no.”

-Finally, SB 360 would turn tilapia – a non-native species and invasive fish – into a domestic species so people can raise trophy bass in private ponds.  However, these tilapia will escape ponds and take over native and wild fisheries.  The “kudzu fish” bill is awaiting a vote in the House Game, Fish, and Parks Committee.

One more note: Unlike deceased humans, however, the contents of dead bills have the uncanny ability to resurrect themselves as amendments to the living bills.  In that sense, a dead bill’s language might get attached to a living bill much like an earmark is attached to a spending bill.  So, we also continue to monitor a number of deceased bills and keep you informed.

4.    Altamaha Riverkeeper is Hiring New Riverkeeper
The Altamaha needs a new Riverkeeper! Altamaha Riverkeeper is seeking a highly motivated, experienced advocate to be the new Altamaha Riverkeeper.  The Altamaha watershed covers 1/4 of the state of Georgia and includes a diverse array of urban and rural resources and problems.   You can view the job description HERE.

5.    Savannah Riverkeeper Challenge
Savannah Riverkeeper Tonya Bonitatibus is serious about bringing public awareness to the Savannah River.  In fact, she is so passionate about the vitality of the river, that this month she  agreed to travel by boat from Tybee Island all the way up river to Augusta to spread the word about the wonders of the Savannah.  

Read about her adventure on the Savannah HERE.

6.    Top Monitoring Programs in the State Run by Georgia River Groups!
Congratulations, Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, Coosawattee Watershed Alliance and Coosa River Basin Initiative! Click HERE to see the top Adopt-A-Stream monitoring programs of 2011.

7.    Register for Weekend for Rivers: Highlights Edition!

Good News: You can still register for Weekend for Rivers!

Weekend for Rivers is fast approaching, though, so don’t miss this great opportunity to celebrate Georgia’s beautiful rivers March 31 - April 1 at the Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell, Georgia.  Listen to some fascinating, inspiring, unique presentations, party with us at the Annual River Celebration Awards,  and even dip your paddle in a section of the newly-designated Chattahoochee Water Trail!  But that’s not all that’s happening-- we’ve got a bunch of other special little treats lined up for Weekend for Rivers participants!

•    Kids’ program:  On March 31st, the Chattahoochee Nature Center is providing a Kid's Camp that will include hikes, science activities, animal demos, games, and canoeing.   Registration cost is $40 per child for the weekend (kids accompanied by parents are welcome on Sunday’s 9-mile paddle on the Chattahoochee).  Children ages 5-13 to are welcome to Kid’s Camp, which will take place 8:45 a.m.- 4:45 p.m on March 31st.  Parents can drop kids off at registration and sit back and enjoy the day's adult activities knowing their kids are having a ton of fun!  Click HERE to fill out registration and health form for Kid's Camp.  

•    River Café Conversations: On the morning on March 31st, we’ll spend a couple hours getting to know each other!  River Café Conversations bring people from diverse backgrounds and experiences together by  exploring questions that matter to us and rivers. At tables of 4-6 people, we'll set the space for you to do your most creative thinking, speaking and listening; taking a deep dive into several thought-provoking questions that have real consequences for the river movement.

•    River Tales Studio: Do you have a river story to tell? Maybe it¹s about the river you grew up on or maybe it¹s the river you work every day to protect. At Weekend for Rivers, you can come on in to the River Tales Studio sound booth and say anything you want, as long as it has to do with Rivers: read some poetry, tell us about your organization, even sing a song.  You can be one-on-one with our sound man Mickey, or you can bring up to five friends with you.  You can even interview each other! You'll find other great story-telling ideas at Story Corps.

Stories will become part of a series of podcasts for Georgia River Network that will be posted on our website (anonymously, if you¹d like). River Tales Studio will be open from 8 AM to 6:30 PM on Saturday, March 31 during the first day of Weekend for Rivers. "Recording sessions" are fifteen minutes long, and you can either sign-up ahead of time or we’ll have a sign-up sheet at the registration desk at Weekend for rivers.  Email jesslyn@garivers.org before March 29 to reserve your time.

•    Wetlands Delineation Workshop: In conjunction with Weekend for Rivers, on Friday, March 30th, the Army Corps of Engineers, in cooperation with Southern Environmental Law Center, will be leading a hands-on wetlands delineation workshop at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. Participants will gain an understanding of how a wetlands delineation works. There will be a classroom portion of the workshop, but the workshop will take place primarily in the field where you will get hands-on instruction and experience with how wetland delineations are determined. For questions or to register contact Bill Sapp at bsapp@selcga.org.

•    Kayak Demonstrations: On March 31st, The Outside World and Cedar Creek RV & Outdoor Center will be showing off all kinds of boats on the Chattahoochee Nature Center pond.  You can stop by between 5 PM and 7PM and try one out!

•    Adopt-A-Stream Chemical Monitoring Workshop: On April 1st, join Georgia Adopt-A-Stream on the Chattahoochee River as the State Adopt-A-Stream coordinators train you on how to take basic chemical indicators of water quality. The Chemical Monitoring workshop is designed to teach volunteers about basic stream water chemistry and how to conduct the chemical tests using hand-held field equipment. The basic set of tests that volunteers are asked to conduct includes dissolved oxygen, conductivity, pH, and temperature. Advanced tests may include alkalinity, phosphate and nitrate-nitrogen. Volunteers are given a field test and written test to assess their ability to collect accurate and precise data. Volunteers who collect data within 10% accuracy and pass the written test with a score of 80% or better will be considered a QA/QC volunteer for one year.

For more information on the Weekend for Rivers Program or to register for the event, CLICK HERE.

Sponsors:
Patagonia , Stormwater Systems , The Rainbarrel Depot, Coca-Cola Refreshments, Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, Cedar Creek RV and Outdoor Center, The Outside World, Sweetwater Brewing, American Rivers, Broad River Watershed Association, Coosa River Basin Initiative, High Country, Flint Riverkeeper, GreenLaw, Café Campesino, Southern Environmental Law Center

8.    Keeping it Wild Altamaha River Paddle and Campout
Keeping It Wild and Georgia Conservancy are partnering to offer a special rate for first-time campers and kayakers to join the "Altamaha River Family Friendly Paddle and Campout".
 
What: Altamaha River Family Friendly Paddle & Campout
When: 23 March, 12:00 PM to 25 - March 2012 4:00 PM
Who: First-Time Campers and Kayakers (if you are not a first-time camper/kayaker, you can register with Georgia Conservancy HERE.)
Where: Altamaha Regional Campground, 1605 Altamaha Park Rd., Brunswick, GA 31525 (approximately 5 hours from Atlanta).
Fee: $75 per adult, $50 per child (ages 10-18), $200 for a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 children under 18) children must be at least age 10

To find out more, click HERE.

9.    Chattooga Conservancy Native Cane Transplanting

The Chattooga Conservancy is working in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service and Revitalization of Cherokee Artisan Resources to restore a stand of native river cane (Arundinaria gigantea) along the Chattooga River, just downstream of the Highway 28 bridge.
 
Join them for a volunteer work day on Saturday, March 24th, to begin the project! Volunteers will meet at 10 a.m., at the gravel parking lot that is located on Highway 28 north (heading towards Highlands, NC), on the right, in South Carolina, just before the Highway 28 bridge over the Chattooga River.  This parking lot is located shortly after passing the Russell House site (on the left).
 
For more information, email info@chattoogariver.org.


10.    Upper Etowah River Alliance Annual Meeting

Join UERA on Friday, April 13 and enjoy all that Amicalola Falls State Park has to offer: hiking, nature watching, fishing and more. That evening, join them on the veranda for wine and cheese and time to enjoy the spring evening together. Saturday, April 14th will be their Annual Meeting from 10 am to 3pm with a gourmet buffet, silent auction, awards and a special presentation from Keynote Speaker, local author and wildlife photographer Margie Carroll. For more information, call Diane Minick at 770-704-5479 or email her at dminick@etowahriver.org.


11.    Taste the Flint River Trip Series
When: Saturday 24 March 2012, 08:30am - 03:30pm
Where: near Thomaston, Georgia
Description:  This 6 hour paddle trip will end at the Sprewell Bluff Recreation Area. Moderate to Experienced paddling skills required.  Registrants will be sent additional details and directions -space is limited.
To register: Email Jayme at jayme@flintriverkeeper.org OR call 229.435.2241, 229.220.9796
Click HERE for more information. 

12.    2012 SE NALMS Lake & Watershed Conference
The 21st Annual Southeastern Lake and Watershed Management Conference will be held May 13-15, 2012 in Columbus GA at the Ironworks Trade Center.
Click HERE for more information:  http://science.kennesaw.edu/~jdirnber/SELM 2012/Conference.html

13.    Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society (FMCS) Meeting
When: April 19-20, 2012
Where: The Holiday Inn, Athens, GA
Description: The Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society (FMCS) is will hold their biennial workshop entitled "Incorporating Environmental Flows, Climate Change and Ecosystem Services into Freshwater Mussel Conservation and Management.”  The workshop consists of a number of invited lectures from around the country including research, legal aspects/policy, and considerations for aquatic conservation.   Details regarding the workshop can be found HERE.


14.    FAQ: The Riverkeeper Model
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. Here’s this month’s question:

Q: A group of people in my community want to start a river protection group to protect our local river.  We’ve asked around, and it seems like becoming a Riverkeeper is a good idea. Any advice you can give on the ins and outs on adopting the Riverkeeper model?

Read Jesslyn's response HERE.

15.    Stories: Clinically Proven to Work!
Click HERE to read the article.

16.    Free Online Diagnostic Tool for Your Group
Working hard to protect rivers, but are the gears not quite meshing? Lacking talent, resources or financial stability? You can now engage your staff and board in a free organizational self-assessment, courtesy of a new tool developed by River Network with support from the Chesapeake Bay Trust.

The two-part process includes an initial survey of key metrics of your organization’s health, followed by an opportunity for your board and staff to weigh in with more qualitative (and anonymous and confidential) feedback. Once everyone from the organization has responded, you receive a composite report that can help you and River Network’s capacity building staff determine your organization’s greatest needs and its future priorities.

Click HERE for more information.

17.    Getting Started with Pinterest
You’ve probably heard of it, but how can your organization USE it? Click HERE to  read the article.

18.    Grant Opportunities
We haven’t found any new grant opportunities this month! But to view grant makers that give throughout the year, visit the grants page of our website HERE.
 

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