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News Stream
May 2014
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In This Issue

Georgia River Network News Stream
May 2014


News
1.    GRN’s Search for New Executive Director Underway
2.    GRN Turner Re-Grants 2014 – Applications Due May 23rd
3.    Save Our Salt Marsh
4.    GRN Celebrates River Champions
5.    2014 Hidden Gems Paddles
6.    Paddle Georgia Fall Float
7.    Sierra Club Georgia Chapter Job Opportunity
8.    Athens Land Trust Job Opportunity

Workshops/Conferences/Calendar Items
9.    Georgia Water Coalition Annual Partner Meeting
10.    Back to the Chattahoochee River Race & Festival
11.    Georgia Lake Society Annual Meeting
12.    Lake Oconee Rock Hawk Talk Cruise
13. FREE Training: Learn More about Georgia's Section 319(h) Nonpoint Source Implementation Grant 


River Group Spotlight
13.    Coosa River Basin Initiative
14.    "Rivercane Man" Source of Hope for the South River

Nonprofit Resources
15.     FAQ: Board Recruitment
16.    Fiscal Sponsorships though NOI

Fundraising Deadlines
17.    Grant Opportunities



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1.    GRN’s Search for New Executive Director Underway 
After 11 years at Georgia River Network, April Ingle will be stepping down at GRN in mid-July to start a consulting business that supports non-profits that are working to change the world for the better. GRN is now accepting applications for the position of Executive Director. Click here for the job announcement.

Read the story about April Ingle in our newsletter. 


2.    GRN Turner Re-Grants 2014 – Applications Due May 23rd
Thanks to a grant from the Turner Foundation, Georgia River Network is pleased to offer grants ($2,000-$10,000) to grassroots river groups for projects in Georgia to directly impact high priority problems causing water quality degradation, impaired in-stream flows and/or inefficient use of water through advocacy, campaigns, on the ground project implementation, or legal work. Additionally, we will provide small seed grants ($500-$2,000) to grassroots river groups to support the development of their programs to engage their community, understand issues impacting their watershed, and/or address issues in their watershed. Up to $40,000 will be awarded to grassroots river groups through the grant program. 
 
Deadline for applications: May 23, 2014. Funds will be disbursed to grantees by no later than late July.  Projects must be completed by May 1 of 2015 and a final report is due by May 15, 2015.

For more information, visit http://www.garivers.org/protect-your-river/small-grants-program.html or contact Debra Long at debra@garivers.org or 706-549-4508.

3.    Save Our Salt Marsh
May is American Wetlands Month - but last month (on Earth Day!), Georgia’s wetlands came under attack by the Director of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD). The Erosion and Sedimentation Act requires a 25-foot buffer alongside our state’s waterways, including coastal wetlands. This announcement means that the EPD will no longer require buffers for projects that border saltwater marshes. This decision puts our wetlands, and the species that rely on them, at risk.
  
Georgia’s salt marsh deserves protection, not more development. Our elected officials need to see Georgia residents standing strong for our coast. Please contact our decision makers and ask them to reverse this terrible decision.

•    Governor Deal: Call him at (404) 656-1776 or contact him through his website.
•    Coastal Legislators: Find their contact information on the 100 Miles website or send them an email
•    Director of EPD, Jud Turner: Call him at (404) 656-4713 or send him an email using the provided talking points below. 

Georgia has more than one-third of all remaining salt marsh on the East Coast. Our wetlands improve water quality, increase water storage and supply, reduce flood and storm surge risk, and provide critical habitat for plants, fish, and other wildlife.  

Unfortunately, contaminated runoff from impervious sources, such as roofs, driveways, and roads, threatens this important ecosystem. The Deal administration’s decision eliminates one of the most effective strategies for preserving our salt marsh ecosystem. It is in violation of the Erosion and Sedimentation Act and is a direct assault on Coastal Georgia.

Visit www.100milesga.org to learn more.


4.    GRN Celebrates River Champions
On April 5, 2014, Georgia River Network held the 10th annual River Celebration Awards to recognize the successes and dedicated efforts of river advocates in Georgia.  Honorees received awards in a special ceremony as part of the 2014 Weekend for Rivers – Georgia River Network’s annual conference. The event was held at the Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell on the evening of Saturday, April 5th. Honorees include:

•    Watershed Group of the Year: Yellow River Water Trail (Porterdale, GA / Upper Ocmulgee River Basin) 

•    River Conservationist of the Year: Emily Markesteyn, Ogeechee Riverkeeper (Savannah, GA)

•    Volunteer of the Year: Clay Montague, Satilla Riverkeeper (Waverly, GA / Satilla River Basin)

Visit our website to read about the winners.

5.    2014 Hidden Gems Paddles
You can still enjoy three of our four different occasions to rediscover some of the hidden gems on Georgia’s waterways. Each river trip will include lunch and presentations along the route, ranging from natural history and water quality testing to cultural history and river cleanups.

•    Oconee River - August 23
Bobbin through Remnants of the Oconee’s Historic Timeworn Textile Mills 

•    Chattahoochee River - September 13
From Derelict Dams to Recreational Whitewater - Adventure on a Revitalized River in Columbus

•    Satilla River - November 15
Giant Magnolia’s and Burnt Forts - a Glimpse of the Satilla’s Unique Past

Register and learn more at www.garivers.org!


6.    Paddle Georgia Fall Float
Join Georgia River Network Columbus Day weekend 2014 for a voyage on the Flint River that would fill Christopher Columbus with envy. Oct. 10-13, we’ll travel 70 miles on the Flint from Albany to Bainbridge taking in the best of the Flint--beautiful blue hole springs, lively rapids, rich history, abundant wildlife and more! Fashioned after our annual week-long Paddle Georgia events, we’ll tent camp at Chehaw Park and on the river two nights at Rocky Bend Flint River Retreat. Like our annual summer adventure, we’ll enjoy catered meals, educational programs and great camaraderie as we make our way down one of Georgia’s most beautiful rivers during a beautiful time of year. Tent camping only with limited options for indoor camping. Registration for this event is now open.  Click here for more information on the Fall Float.

7.    Sierra Club Georgia Chapter Job Opportunity
Volunteer Coordinator job description and application instructions can be found here.

8.    Athens Land Trust Job Opportunity
ALT is seeking a full-time Conservation Director. For complete job description, go to http://www.athenslandtrust.org/about/job-opportunities and send cover letter and résumé to: employment@athenslandtrust.org.

9.    Georgia Water Coalition Annual Partner Meeting
When: Thursday, Jun 5, 2014
Where: Georgia Wildlife Federation Alcovy Conservation Center, Covington, GA

We will be discussing current water issues including the recent rollbacks to coastal marsh protections, toxic groundwater pollution from legacy industrial sites, the upcoming expiration on Georgia’s Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) moratorium, 2014 elections and more!

Lunch is free but will be provided for registrants only. Please make sure you register in advance!
 
Click here for all the details and to register for the GWC annual partner meeting.

10.    Back to the Chattahoochee River Race & Festival
When: Saturday, June 14, 2014
Where: Garrard Landing Park and Riverside Park, Roswell. 9 a.m. (race), 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (festival) 

Paddlers of all ages and skill levels will take to the water on Saturday, June 14, for the 12th Annual Back to the Chattahoochee River Race and Festival. Organized and presented by Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (CRK) in partnership with the National Park Service and the city of Roswell, the event celebrates the Chattahoochee and fosters a sense of community around the river. 

Proceeds go to support CRK’s mission to protect and preserve the Chattahoochee River system for the people and wildlife that depend upon it. 

Click here for more information and to register! (Registration closes June 6).

11.    Georgia Lake Society Annual Meeting
Join Georgia Lakes Society for its annual meeting to be held on Saturday, May 24.  Coffee and snacks will be served at 10am, with a business meeting beginning at 10:30 am.  A catered lunch and general networking will follow.  The meeting will adjourn no later than 1:30pm.

Click here to register for the GLS Annual Meeting

This meeting will be held at: 

Water's Edge Community Club House
7115 Waters Edge Drive
Stone Mountain, Georgia  30087

12.    Lake Oconee Rock Hawk Talk Cruise 
When: Sat, May 31, 1pm – 6pm
Where: Lake Oconee, Georgia

Climb aboard a luxury cruise boat on Lake Oconee for an afternoon of Rock Hawk Talk, stories and tales surrounding Lake Oconee. Local historian Larry Moore and Georgia Power Lake Resources Manager Scott Hendricks will once again explore the archeological sites and culture of Lake Oconee including some of the mysterious 3,000 archaeological sites hidden by the lake, prehistoric ceremonial sites, early historical plantations, as well as Wallace Dam and the Oconee Wildlife Management Area. 

The Rock Hawk Talk Cruise will hold two tour times, both on May 31.  The first tour will be from 1 – 3 p.m. and the second tour will be from 4 – 6 p.m. Both cruises will depart for the two hour round-trip.  (A rain date has been reserved for June 7 with a slight variation in time; the first tour would be from noon – 2 p.m. and the second tour from 3 – 5 p.m.)

Rock Hawk Talk fundraiser tickets are $50 and are on sale now.  Tickets will include hors d'oeuvres and one drink ticket, a cash bar is also available. 
For more info, contact - Bonnie Simmons at (706) 485-7701 or bonnie@eatonton.com.

13. FREE Training: Learn More about Georgia's Section 319(h) Nonpoint Source Implementation Grant
If you want to learn more about Georgia’s Section 319(h) cost-share grant for water quality improvement, this seminar is for you!

You’re invited to a FREE training session hosted by the Grants Unit of Georgia EPD’s Watershed Protection Branch.  At the training you will learn how to evaluate a water quality project that you want to implement and determine if it qualifies for a Section 319(h) Nonpoint Source Implementation Grant.  You will also learn the necessary steps to take when applying for Section 319(h) cost-share funding.
 
Date: Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Time: 9:30 to 11:30 AM
Location: Southeastern Natural Sciences Academy
      1858 Lock & Dam Road
      Augusta, GA 30907
      706-828-2109 (main)
      Email: info@naturalsciencesacademy.org
The session will take place in the Conference Room on the Academy’s Phinizy Swamp Campus.

RSVP: Please Accept or Decline this invitation by Monday, May 26, 2014.
 
If you have any questions or comments, please contact Mary Gazaway at 404-651-8522, or email her at mary.gazaway@dnr.state.ga.us


14.    River Group Spotlight: Coosa River Basin Initiative
It’s high time you checked out what CRBI has been up to! One of the oldest and most well-established river protection groups in our state, the Riverkeeper on the Coosa has been announcing some exciting changes lately! This January, longtime Coosa Riverkeeper Joe Cook ceded his Riverkeeper job to Amos Tuck, who had been working as the organization’s Program Coordinator since 2012. Joe will continue his work at CRBI part-time as the group’s Advocacy and Communications Coordinator, and they recently hired Shira Kerce to be the new Events and Membership Coordinator. And to top it all off, late last month CRBI announced the hire of a new Executive Director, a position also previously held by Joe Cook.  David Tucker of Rome, Georgia will serve as CRBI’s new Executive Director, guiding CRBI through what promises to be a time of significant growth. 

Tucker will begin his new position June 1st, after he retires as a teacher and administrator in the Floyd County Schools System where he’s worked since 1985. Tucker brings to the organization a track record of management and fundraising skills. In making the transition from educator to environmental advocate he is returning to his educational roots:

“When given the choice of being indoors or outdoors, the choice would emphatically be outdoors! I love the adventure nature offers. I have always dreamt of being able to cultivate my degree in Biology. CRBI has made that dream come true!”

During his professional career, Tucker has been recognized by Floyd County Schools with a Distinguished Service Award for Leadership and the Georgia Department of Education as an Outstanding Leader. He has also been inducted into the Floyd County Sports Hall of Fame for volunteer service for youth.

“David is well-known and well-respected in this community, and brings tremendous enthusiasm to CRBI,” said Chad Johnfroe, CRBI Board President. “We’re happy to welcome him to his second career protecting North America’s most biologically diverse river basin.”

Tucker will be overseeing a stage of exciting growth for CRBI: The organization recently received a $150,000 donation from an anonymous foundation—a gift they’re currently working to match. This gift, according to Joe Cook, “presents exciting opportunities for growth and expansion of programs in the next couple years,” including the construction of a new canoe and kayak launch on US 411 and a series fish monitoring workshops Amos Tuck will be holding this year to educate citizens to talk about incredible biodiversity of the Coosa basin.

To keep tabs on the great things happening at CRBI, visit their website at www.coosa.org.

15.    "Rivercane Man" - One Man Provides Hope for the South River
 
Source:  South River Watershed Alliance Newsletter

Naturalist, William Bartram on his journey through the Southern frontier was one of the first to describe the rich biodiversity along the rivers of Georgia. Paddlers, fishermen, naturalists, and many others still frequent Georgian waterways in appreciation of the unique scenery and biota. Bartram however, would see the Oconee, Ogeechee, Chattahoochee, and even the South, as a foreign landscape to the one he traversed over a century ago. Erosion and channelization from disturbance allow invasive plant species like Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense) to invade and become well established on river banks. Privet and other invasive species are choking out millions of acres where native plant communities once thrived.
 
One native species particularly threatened by invasive plant species is rivercane (Arundinaria), the only native North American bamboo. Bartram and his contemporaries described vast expanses of "cane meadows," more commonly referred to today as "canebrakes". Although rivercane is still found across the southeast, it rarely forms the dense stands, or canebrakes that covered an estimated twelve million acres before European settlement.
 
Canebrake supports a variety of threatened and endangered species. Swainson's Warblers nest exclusively in healthy cane with rare exception. Several butterfly larvae only feed on cane foliage. Studies from the University of Southern Illinois confirmed that canebrake is three times more effective at reducing harmful pollutants from agricultural runoff than a typical forested buffer along waterways. Canebrakes are highly effective at reducing erosion with their matted root structures called rhizomes. The tough, flexible canes filter and deposit organic matter from flood waters rebuilding soil quality.
  
 Indigenous Nations like the Cherokee, Choctaw, and Poarch Creek, have been extensively involved in the emerging field of canebrake restoration for the past decade because of its cultural significance. Many Native Americans still utilize cane in traditional and contemporary art forms.

Several hundred of these plants will be planted in an experimental design at Snapfinger Creek Mitigation Bank to test competitive/dominance variables in landscapes where privet and cane collide. The experiment and monitoring will take place over the next year to test the hypothesis that with the right techniques, canebrake restoration following privet removal can effectively stabilize soils, staunch intrusions of exotic plants, and increase overall ecosystem function. 

--Thomas Peters, American Cane Society


16.    FAQ: Board Recruitment
Each month, our staff answers one of our more frequently asked questions.  A lot of people ask us how to recruit new board members. Our in-house expert, Executive Director April Ingle, has some answers! 

17.    Fiscal Sponsorships though NOI
Ever had an idea for how to change the world, but didn't know how to get it off the ground? New Organizing Institute (NOI) can help.

Starting a 501(c)(3) nonprofit can be a big challenge. You have to deal with paperwork, operations, donation processing, and employee healthcare, not to mention bringing in 501(c)(3) dollars while you're earning your charter from the IRS.

NOI can make that all smooth sailing, so you can focus on program instead of process. 

Click here to learn more about their Fiscal Sponsorship program and request a consultation.

18.    Grant Opportunities
To view grant makers that give throughout the year, visit the grants page of our website HERE.
  • Section 319(h) Georgia’s Nonpoint Source Implementation Grant

    Under Section 319(h) of the Clean Water Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) awards a Nonpoint Source Implementation Grant to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GAEPD) to fund projects in support of Georgia’s Nonpoint Source Management Program. Funding is distributed via a competitive process to projects that will lead to direct reductions in pollutant loads and measurable water quality improvements. The maximum amount of individual Federal awards is $400,000 over a maximum timeline of 3 years.

    Visit the Georgia EPD Nonpoint Source Grant page for FY2014 Grant Announcement, Application and Guidance materials for your proposals. 

    Application Deadline is OCTOBER 31, 2013

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