Weekend for Rivers & Georgia Water Coalition Partner Meeting

April 27-29, 2017

Little Ocmulgee State Park & Lodge near McCrae, GA

GRN-GWC April Event WEB

Georgia River Network’s Annual Weekend for Rivers Conference and River Celebration Awards Party will be held in conjunction with the Georgia Water Coalition's Spring Partner Meeting.
 
This will be a fun and informal gathering to celebrate rivers, network with river lovers and dive deeper into the work of ensuring healthy rivers. There will be multiple training opportunities during this multi-day event. Come enjoy two days of learning and sharing with fellow water advocates. Engage in the river revelry and share your river revelations!
 
Georgia Water Coalition (GWC) member groups will kick off the event with a Thursday night dinner and an opportuinity to learn about current policy issues and how to work with decision makers all day Friday. Friday evening, Georgia River Network will hold its River Celebration Awards Dinner and Ceremony.
On Saturday, the Weekend for Rivers Conference will focus on ways you can highlight and protect your river followed by an afternoon guided paddling trip on the majestic Little Ocmulgee River.

Registration
 is an Ala Carte menu where you can choose all events or just certain portions of the weekend that work with your schedule.
We have 15 rooms in the Lodge and 25 campsites blocked for Thursday 4/27/17 thru Sunday 4/30/17. Please use the Group Code 04748 when making your reservations at Little Ocmulgee State Park Reservations

 

REGISTER HERE: https://www.regonline.com/rivermeeting

 

GRN Weekend for Rivers & GWC Partner Meeting

Cost

Agenda

Speakers/Workshops/Activity

$15 

No need to be a GWC partner to eat & socialize! BYOB  
Thursday
April 27

6PM–10PM

Group Supper and Socializing

Free 

GWC Members Only

Friday  
April 28

9AM–4PM

GWC Partner Meeting

  • Protecting and Restoring Flows in Your River: State Policies for Water Security and Sustainability - Katherine Baer and April Ingle
  • The Agricultural Water Footprint in Georgia - Chris Manganiello

$25

5PM–9PM

GRN’s Weekend for Rivers  -
River Celebration Awards Ceremony

Happy Hour, Low Country Boil Dinner, and River Celebration Awards

$60

Saturday
April 29

8AM–3PM

GRN’s Weekend for Rivers Conference

  • Is Dam Removal Right for Your River ? - Lisa Hollingsworth-Segedy
  • From Lemons to Clean Water - Katherine Baer
  • How to Reduce the Impacts of Transportation Projects on Rivers - Brian Gist
  • Plan Your Impact! Create an Inspired Strategic Plan to Guide Your River Work - April Ingle
  • Turn your Community into a River Town! Build a Water Trail - Gwyneth Moody
  • FUNding your Water Trail Projects - Cheryl Delk
  • Build the Perfect Launch for Your Water Trail - Don Wells
  • Navigating the Snags and Rapids of Permitting - Keith Parsons
  • Get the Word Out! Marketing Tools & Resources for Your Water Trail - Cheryl Smith

$20 B.Y.O. Boat

 $40 to Rent a Boat

Saturday 
April 29

3:30PM–7:30PM

Guided Paddling Trip on the Little Ocmulgee River

Join us for this special guided 4.6 mile paddling trip on the majestic Little Ocmulgee River.
Limited to 25 participants.

 

Detailed Agenda

 

Thursday, April 27, 6-10pm
 
Georgia Water Coalition Social and Supper 

Come early to Little Ocmulgee State Park and join us Thursday evening in the Pavilion for supper and socializing with GWC partners.  We will enjoy a meal catered by Altamaha Riverkeeper at Group Pavilion 1 from 6-10 PM.  $15 Menu includes: Grilled chicken, Spaghetti & Meatballs & sauces, Ham/bean stew, Veggie stew, Green bean casserole, Salad, Rolls

 

Friday, April 28,  8-4pm
 
Georgia Water Coalition Partner Meeting

Georgia Water Coalition partners will meet on Friday, April 28th for a day of workshops and discussions on current water policy.  We will talk about the results of the 2017 legislative session and discuss plans for work needed in the upcoming months.  River Network will present a talk on current southeast water policies and Chattahoochee Riverkeeper will share the results of a study on Georgia’s agricultural water use in Georgia. Current issues like buffers, coal ash disposal, pipelines and more will be on the agenda. 

We will spend the afternoon in a workshop that our partners specifically asked for: Learning how to establish relationships with local and state officials and how to successfully advocate for your issues. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to learn and network with your fellow water advocates.

Agenda:
Breakfast on your own.
8:15AM             Registration opens
9:00AM             Meeting Begins: Legislative debriefing and multiple presentations
Noon                 Lunch on your own at the Lodge restaurant
1-4PM               Workshop led by GWC Leaders: How to Successfully Advocate on the Local                             and State Level

Georgia Water Coalition Workshops 

The Georgia Water Coalition’s 230+ partner organizations work with local and state elected officials to promote enough clean water for all Georgians.  Join leaders from the Coalition to discuss simple steps you can take to promote clean water in your community.  Training includes how to find your lawmakers, identify influencers, and successfully advocate for your issues - locally and at the state level.

Protecting and Restoring Flows in Your River: State Policies for Water Security and Sustainability  Katherine Baer and April Ingle, River Network
 
In this session, River Network will present information, recommendations and models on how you can protect and restore your river’s flows through state policy. As part of their efforts to support advocates in their work to protect and restore healthy rivers, River Network recently completed a comprehensive evaluation of state-level flow protection policies in the southeast. Their analysis includes the scientific foundations of water budgets, supply management, flow protection and demand management policies, as well as policies for the built environment. The report synthesizes the status of these policies in five Southeastern states – Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee – and offers recommendations and models from within and outside the region for how these policies can be strengthened. This research was compiled in the report: Protecting and Restoring Flows in Our Southeastern Rivers: A Synthesis of State Policies for Water Security and Sustainability. River Network also developed a corresponding online science module on Environmental Flows and Water Security with several components focused on understanding and developing water budgets and environmental flows.
 
Katherine Baer
Katherine is River Network’s Director of Science and Policy.  Growing up splashing and exploring Peavine Creek in Atlanta sparked her interest in protecting streams and rivers. As an environmental advocate for over 15 years, Katherine has worked for American Rivers, Triangle Land Conservancy, Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, the Center for Progressive Reform, and the School for Field Studies. In that work she has led efforts to improve policies for clean and reliable water at the local, state and national levels, including testifying before Congressional Committees, serving on state and national working groups on topics including drought management, climate change adaptation and reducing sewer overflows, and working with watershed groups. She holds a J.D. from the University of Maryland, an M.S. in Conservation Ecology and Sustainable Development from the University of Georgia, and a B.A. in environmental studies from Stanford University. Katherine works from Carrboro, NC and when she’s not helping people save rivers, she loves trail running, hanging out with her husband and daughter (and dog and cat), traveling, and reading mysteries.
 
April Ingle
April Ingle is the owner of April Ingle Consulting, where she works to boost the impact of organizations that are working for a better world. She provides organizations with tools, training and strategies to boost their fundraising, strategic and program planning, board development and engagement, collaborations, communications, staffing, management, and events.  Previously, April served as Executive Director of Georgia River Network; as Public Relations Specialist, then Executive Director of the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts; as Coordinator of the St. Joseph River Watershed Initiative; and as an environmental educator. April served on the Special Committee for Review of Environmental Buffer Requirements, convened by the Mayor and Commission of Athens-Clarke County; the National Blueways Program (a program of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative) Task Force convened by the Walton Family Foundation and Meridian Institute; and the Statewide Advisory Committee for Georgia’s Statewide Water Management Plan, convened by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.  April also served on the boards of Georgia Conservation Voters Education Fund, Georgia Environmental Council and the Little River Wetlands Project.   April was named one of Georgia’s “40 Under 40” by Georgia Trend magazine in 2013, was the recipient of Greenlaw’s 2014 Environmental Hero award, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s 2012 River Advocate of the Year award, and the Soil and Water Conservation Society - Hoosier Chapter’s 1999 Education & Information award.
 
The Agricultural Water Footprint in Georgia – Chris Manganiello, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper
 
The energy and agricultural sectors utilize more water than any other economic interests in the United States.  Many environmentalists and conservationists have a firm grasp on municipal and industrial water demands, conservation and efficiency, and an appreciation of the energy-water nexus.  However, many lack awareness about the agricultural sector’s water footprint.  Georgians must have a full understanding of the state’s complete water budget to appreciate the challenges their communities, state and region face while seeking healthy flows to meet the freshwater challenge.  This presentation will discuss the agricultural water footprint in Georgia to provide an objective understanding of the agricultural effects on healthy flows and opportunities in Georgia.
 
Chris Manganiello
Chris Manganiello is Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s Water Policy Director.  He leads the organization’s water supply program and tracks regional water planning in the Chattahoochee River basin.  Additionally, he works on legislative initiatives to ensure there is enough clean water for healthy communities, environments, and economies.  Chris is also the author of a book, titled Southern Water, Southern Power: How the Politics of Cheap Energy and Water Scarcity Shaped a Region (The University of North Carolina Press, 2015).  From 2012 to 2016, Chris served as the Policy Director at Georgia River Network, where he engaged and empowered citizens, river groups, and other partners to advocate for local, state, and federal river protections.

Weekend For Rivers & River Celebration Awards Ceremony


Friday April 28, 6-10pm

Low Country Boil Dinner & River Celebration Awards


Join us for a delicious low country boil dinner catered by Altamaha Riverkeeper and for our River Celebration Awards Ceremony!

$25 dinner ticket includes:  Appetizers of Clams & Crabs from Sapelo Sound, Low country boil featuring fresh GA white shrimp, Savory Arugula & Asparagus salad, Assorted cookies & sweets, Sweet Tea & Water. Drinks are $3 at Cash Bar.

Every river needs a hero, and we at GRN appreciate these people so much, we honor them each year in our River Celebration Awards ceremony.
During our Weekend for Rivers each year, we give three different awards to our rivers' unsung heroes: 
  • Volunteer of the Year: This award is given for purely freelance heroics in the field of river conservation. The winner of this award generally doesn't get paid for looking after their river, but does it because it's just important to them. This dedicated person has not only demonstrated that they care about their local streams and rivers, but has also inspired river love in others.
  • Conservationist of the Year: This award goes to someone whose work has had a direct impact on the health of their river. This may be through education, science, outreach or policy, and will be given to someone who has demonstrated heroic leadership, inspiration, creativity and dedication to a vision of clean, healthy, plentiful water for our communities, our families and wildlife.
  • River Group of the Year: This award is given to a group of river heroes that is out there on the front lines every day, working on behalf of all of us to keep our rivers flowing clean. The River Group of the Year generally has done something spectacular during the year, and achieved significant results through their leadership, dedication and abilities.

River heroes often don't know that they are heroic. Join us this year to honor and celebrate these awe-inspiring river heroes!

Saturday April 29, 8-7:30pm

Agenda:
8-9AM                Hot Breakfast and  Registration and in the Dining Room
9-9:25AM           Welcome and Room Introductions
9:30AM-12PM    Workshops - Morning Session: Ways to Highlight and Protect Your River
12-1PM              Lunch on your own at the Lodge restaurant
1-3PM                Workshops - Afternoon Session: Water Trail Development   
3:30-7:30PM      Guided Paddling Trip on Little Ocmulgee River                 
 
 
Weekend For Rivers Workshops

~

Morning Session - Ways to Highlight and Protect Your River 
9:30AM-12 PM

 

Track One

Is Dam Removal Right for Your River? Lisa Hollingsworth-Segedy, AICP, American Rivers
9:30-10:15AM

Dam removal is an established practice in many parts of the US for eliminating obsolete infrastructure, reconnecting aquatic connectivity, improving water quality, and providing community resilience for increasing climate uncertainty.  But how can you be sure that your river would benefit from dam removal?  This practice-oriented presentation will focus on a watershed self-assessment tool and real-world examples to guide you through the process of defining potential benefits and drawbacks of dam removal in your community.
 
Lisa Hollingsworth-Segedy, AICP
Lisa is Associate Director for River Restoration, working in American Rivers’ PA Field Office since 2008. She works to restore rivers to provide resiliency, ecosystem services, habitat connectivity, public safety and recreation access through stream barrier removals and riparian corridor restoration.  She has been the project manager for more than 75 dam removals and 4 culvert replacement projects.   She is promoting the application of Transfer of Development Rights to flood risk reduction in Pennsylvania.  Lisa has been a guest lecturer at Emory University, University of West Georgia, and University of Pittsburgh, and adjunct faculty at the College of Charleston and Metropolitan Community College of Kansas City.  Lisa’s previous experience includes public, private, nonprofit and academic positions.  Her education includes an undergraduate degree in Geology and graduate study in Hydrogeology.  In addition, Lisa is a professional storyteller and a member of the Edgewood Volunteer Fire Department. She lives in Edgewood, PA with her husband Jim.  Her favorite river is the Wild & Scenic Upper Allegheny river.
 
From Lemons to Clean Water  Katherine Baer, River Network
10:25-10:55AM
 
Given the current political realities at the national level, sharing success stories of groups who have thrived and achieved gains in tough times is more important than ever. Learn about how groups around the country are organizing effective campaigns and projects and incorporating broad community engagement as part of their work to achieve clean and healthy rivers. This session will focus on sharing these stories and also providing an update on the Campaign for Clean Water’s work to defend the Clean Water Act and how grassroots groups can engage.
 
Katherine Baer
Katherine is River Network’s Director of Science and Policy.  Growing up splashing and exploring Peavine Creek in Atlanta sparked her interest in protecting streams and rivers. As an environmental advocate for over 15 years, Katherine has worked for American Rivers, Triangle Land Conservancy, Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, the Center for Progressive Reform, and the School for Field Studies. In that work she has led efforts to improve policies for clean and reliable water at the local, state and national levels, including testifying before Congressional Committees, serving on state and national working groups on topics including drought management, climate change adaptation and reducing sewer overflows, and working with watershed groups. She holds a J.D. from the University of Maryland, an M.S. in Conservation Ecology and Sustainable Development from the University of Georgia, and a B.A. in environmental studies from Stanford University. Katherine works from Carrboro, NC and when she’s not helping people save rivers, she loves trail running, hanging out with her husband and daughter (and dog and cat), traveling, and reading mysteries.
 
 
How to Reduce the Impacts of Transportation Projects on Rivers – Brian Gist, Southern Environmental Law Center
11:00-11:55AM
 
In 2015, the Georgia General Assembly dramatically increased the Georgia Department of Transportation’s funding for building and maintaining roads and bridges in the state. As a result, the agency has begun an unprecedented wave of construction projects around the state.  Although many of these projects are necessary, some raise concerns about their potential impacts on waters, wetlands, and communities. This session will focus on the impacts of transportation projects, how the community can engage with GDOT to design better projects, and how organizations push back on bad projects.
 
Brian Gist
Brian is a Senior Attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center. He joined the organization in 2004 and focuses on transportation, land use, and clean air issues. Brian has represented local, state, and national organizations under most of the major environmental laws.  Brian has a B.S. in Biology from the University of Cincinnati and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Track Two

Workshop TBA
9:30-10:15AM 
 

Plan Your Impact! Create an Inspired Strategic Plan to Guide Your River Work April Ingle, River Network; April Ingle Consulting
10:25-11:55AM

This workshop is for staff, board members, volunteers or interns who would like a USEFUL and INSPIRED strategic plan to guide your work to protect, restore and/or get more people out on your river.  This workshop will demystify the strategic planning process and teach you what you need to know to create a plan that you’ll actually use and can serve as your map and compass to achieve the impact you want.  The truth is that there are no special tricks or talents required to develop a strategic plan, but there are important steps to follow. In this engaging, informative and inspiring workshop we’ll learn what those steps are, how to navigate them, and how to put your strategic plan to use to guide your staff and interns and engage and empower your board and volunteers.

April Ingle
April is the owner of April Ingle Consulting, where she works to boost the impact of organizations that are working for a better world. She provides organizations with tools, training and strategies to boost their fundraising, strategic and program planning, board development and engagement, collaborations, communications, staffing, management, and events.  Previously, April served as Executive Director of Georgia River Network; as Public Relations Specialist, then Executive Director of the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts; as Coordinator of the St. Joseph River Watershed Initiative; and as an environmental educator. April served on the Special Committee for Review of Environmental Buffer Requirements, convened by the Mayor and Commission of Athens-Clarke County; the National Blueways Program (a program of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative) Task Force convened by the Walton Family Foundation and Meridian Institute; and the Statewide Advisory Committee for Georgia’s Statewide Water Management Plan, convened by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.  April also served on the boards of Georgia Conservation Voters Education Fund, Georgia Environmental Council and the Little River Wetlands Project.   April was named one of Georgia’s “40 Under 40” by Georgia Trend magazine in 2013, was the recipient of Greenlaw’s 2014 Environmental Hero award, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s 2012 River Advocate of the Year award, and the Soil and Water Conservation Society - Hoosier Chapter’s 1999 Education & Information award.

~

Afternoon Session - Water Trail Development 
1:00-3:00 PM

 

Turn your Community into a River Town - Build a Water Trail! – Gwyneth Moody, Georgia River Network
1:00-1:15 PM
 
Is there a paddle-able river in your community that no one knows about or is thought of negatively as “that place where the riffraff hangout and I’m never gonna bring my kids?” Does your community need revitalization in the areas of recreation, river health, and economic development? How about changing this negative perception into a positive by developing your local river into a water trail and changing your community into a River Town where your river brings in tourism and is celebrated! In this workshop you will learn the key elements necessary to develop a successful water trail.
 
Gwyneth Moody
Gwyneth is native to Athens Georgia, and daughter of an outfitter on the Broad River- grew up paddling Georgia's rivers. After earning a Master’s degree in Conservation Ecology and Sustainable Development from the University of Georgia she found her dream job with Georgia River Network, a local non profit, coordinating the Hidden Gems Paddling series, handling communications and outreach, and providing technical assistance to water trail groups throughout the state. Thus far she has assisted the development of Water Trails on the: Yellow, Broad, North and Middle Oconee, Ochlockonee, Alapaha, South, and Satilla rivers and is currently working intensively on Georgia’s Little River Water Trail and Flint River Water Trail.  She continues to provide support to Georgia’s water trail groups throughout the state. She also teaches salsa dance classes with the group SALSAthens.

FUNding your Water Trail Projects  Cheryl Delk, RLA, Newton County Board of Commissioners; Yellow River Water Trail
1:20-1:40PM 
 
This workshop will give examples and walk you through the process of accessing grants, other government funding, the importance of grass root support, and master planning your river trail projects.  The presentation will take a specific grant application such as Recreational Trail Program and Land and Water Conservation Funding administered through the GA Department of Natural Resources, and SPLOST and talk you through it, utilizing the history of our Yellow River Water Trail non-profit and our collaboration with local, state, and federal agencies.  FUNding is somewhat of an oxymoron … the honest ups and downs will be shared.
 
Cheryl Delk
RLA, Special Projects Coordinator for Newton County Board of Commissioners and founding member of Yellow River Water Trail has been granted over 5 million dollars for multiple diverse projects during her 16 year career with Newton County.  She and her husband Fred and their dog Rio enjoy multiple water activities but have a special place in their hearts for paddling their local Yellow River Trail.

Build the Perfect Launch for your Water Trail Don Wells, Mountain Stewards
1:45-2:05PM
 
The Mountain Stewards is an all-volunteer Trail Crew that has planned, designed, constructed and maintained over a million dollars of recreational facilities in the North Georgia area in the past decade. Included in these are Water Trail Launch facilities built in three counties. This program will discuss the planning, design and construction of launch facilities from the simplest to the most complex.
 
Don Wells
Don is the president of The Mountain Stewards. Don graduated from the University of SC in 1962 with a BS Degree in Civil Engineering and obtained his Masters in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University in 1970. He spent 28 years in the Navy Civil Engineering Corps followed by ten years in an engineering consultant firm. He and his wife retired to GA in 2000 where he formed the Mountain Stewards, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization in 2003. The Mountain Stewards have provided volunteer planning, engineering and construction services in a four county North Georgia area where they have contributed over a million dollars of value in recreational facilities in the past decade. The Mountain Stewards also manage the Indian Cultural Heritage Program nationwide. In 2011, Mountain Stewards published their book, Mystery of the Trees and released their one hour documentary of the same name featuring actor Wes Studi in 2015.

Navigating the Snags and Rapids of Permitting – Keith Parsons,  Environmental Protection Agency (Retired)
2:10-2:30PM
 
Constructing launch sites along the banks of rivers and streams often requires permits and various forms of permission from potentially a myriad of entities, mostly governments at local, state and federal levels.  It’s a paper chase, but can be confusing and confounding. This session will look at what permits may be required, who needs to be brought into the process, what may be required for various levels of permitting, and maybe, most importantly, how to design a project that minimizes or entirely avoids the need for certain permits or other legal instruments of permission.
 
Keith Parsons
Keith is first and foremost a river aficionado, aquatic ecologist, biologist, salt marsh zealot, and fishing maniac…take your pick. Retired from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources in 2012, kayak fishing, vegetable gardening, and serving on the GRN and South River Watershed Alliance boards are the mainstays of daily life at this point. In addition, serendipity has provided opportunity to volunteer with the Smithsonian Institution since 1993 at the Caribbean Coral Reef Ecosystem field station in Belize. Keith and his wife, Shirl, also spend various interludes throughout the year at their cabin in Suches, often with grandkids and always with dogs.

Get the Word Out! Marketing Tools & Resources for your Water Trail – Cheryl Smith, Georgia Dept. of Economic Development
2:35-2:55 PM
 
Learn about ways to market and promote your water trail. Tap into the Georgia Department of Economic Development – Tourism Division’s Programs and Services and learn how the Etowah River Water Trail has successfully marketed their trail through various marketing tools such as social media, brochures, website, maps, signage, kiosks, etc. as well as the costs involved, and resources available.
 
Cheryl Smith
Cheryl is a native Georgian, born in Atlanta. She attended Clemson University where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management.  She also graduated from Clemson University’s Honors Program, Calhoun College.Cheryl has been with the Georgia Department of Economic Development since 1988. She is the Tourism Project Manager for the 17-county, Northeast Georgia Mountains Travel Region serving the counties of Banks, Barrow, Dawson, Elbert, Forsyth, Franklin, Habersham, Hall, Hart, Jackson, Lumpkin, Madison, Rabun, Stephens, Towns, Union, and White.Her responsibilities include working with communities and regional tourism organizations; providing professional guidance in the development of marketing plans, promoting existing tourism attractions, lodging and other tourism assets; assisting new attractions, lodging and other tourism assets with resource and financial information; responding to media requests; and working with tourism partners to “package” their tourism assets, thus creating new tourism product. Cheryl loves working with and for the citizens and tourism businesses of Georgia. In her spare time she paddles kayaks, paddleboards and dragon boat (when needed) as well as officiates at USA Canoe/Kayak competitions. Cheryl has worked with several water trail groups, including the Etowah River Trail and the Broad River Trail to foster development and promotional efforts.

Paddle on the Little Ocmulgee River
3:30-7:30PM
 
Join us for this special guided paddling trip on the majestic Little Ocmulgee River - Limited to 25 participants.
 
We will paddle a 4.6 mile section of the Little Ocmulgee that is almost completely undeveloped with banks of overarching maple, cypress and tupelo and draped in Spanish moss. This intimate journey will take you through a corridor primarily located within the Wildlife Management Area so expect to be in the midst of all sorts of lively woodland critters.
 

Spend the weekend at Little Ocmulgee State Park – camp out or reserve a lodge room!