2014-07-07: WWALS Annual Report 2013-2014

WWALS Watershed Coalition
Annual Report
2013 – 2014

7 July 2014

1. Overview

The WWALS Watershed Coalition had many successes in its second year, the biggest of which was successfully navigating the IRS 501(c)(3) process and becoming a not for profit as of the incorporation date of June 8, 2012. The group raised about $1000 in memberships, donations and in-kind donations. In June WWALS was awarded a $500 Georgia River Network, Turner Re-grant for the development of materials about a river trail on the Alapaha River. The group held 12 meetings, five of which which included speakers, one training, two informational booths, and seven outings which included river races, leisurely river trips and a trash pick up.

2. Officers and Board

The board for 2013-2014 included:

Dave Hetzel, President,
John S. Quarterman, Senior Vice President,
Gretchen Quarterman, Treasurer,
Heather Brasell, Secretary (succeeded by Bret Wagenhorst in January)
Al Browning,
Garry Gentry,
Gretchen Quarterman,
Karan Rawlins,
Bret Wagenhorst,
April Huntley,
Chris Graham (succeeding Heather Brasell in January).

3. Financial Report

The beginning balance on July 1, 2013 was $1,741.00. A variety of bills were paid including, bill board advertising through Fairway Outdoors and final payment to Harrison Tillman, accountant, for the establishment of 501(c)(3) status. WWALS held one fund raiser during the year.

The Big Little River Paddle Event was in March (scheduled for 22 March 2014 and due to weather held 29 March 2014) and was held in conjunction with the Friends of Reed Bingham Parks. Coordinated by WWALS Board Member Bret Wagenhorst, the paddle event was well attended and attracted attention to the need for watershed advocacy.

The ending balance on June 30, 2014 was $1,942.06.

4. Meetings

The board held 12 board meetings during the year. Many meetings included not only business but also special speakers. Speakers included:

  • 2013-07-10: Dr. William Grow, Health South District Director,

  • 2013-10-09: Dr. Don Thieme, Professor at VSU,

  • Tara Muenz, Ann Stahley, and Harold Harbert from Adopt-a-Stream (AAS),

  • 12 March 2014: Charles Stines, local river expert,

  • 14 May 2014: Allison Ray, teacher at Berrien Middle School

WWALS had one special half-day event at NESPAL in Tifton 24 August 2013, with approximately 30 attendees and speakers of Dave Hetzel, WWALS President, Gordon Rogers, Flint Riverkeeper, Neil Herring, Political Activist, John S. Quarterman, WWALS Vice President, Al Browning, WWALS Board Member, and Karan Rawlins, UGA.

5. Outings

WWALS held five river outings which included:

The outings were well attended with over 40 different individuals participating.

6. 2014 Goals

At the January meeting the board set out the following goals:

  • 1. Participate in Rivers Alive clean up
  • 2. Outreach to schools to teach students about watershed health and science
  • 3. Do invasive species monitoring and water quality monitoring on all WWALS outings.
  • 4. Water quality certification for as many people & members as possible & partner with Adopt-a-Stream
  • 5. Map encroachment, water quality, inv asive species, pesticide run off and share info
  • 6. 501c3 and insurance
  • 7. Get WWALS involved in watershed mapping of floodplains by Army Corps of Engineers in our watershed areas
  • 8. Waycross Superfund site mess how relates to WWALS watersheds
  • 9. Oppose the Sabal Trail methane pipeline

7. Meeting Goals and Raising Awareness

WWALS Board members helped to raise awareness of the watershed by attending and giving presentations at state wide conferences. President Dave Hetzel attended the Georgia Water Coalition meetings in November and May and Senior Vice President John S. Quarterman attended the Georgia River Network conference and board member training in April. A letter was written on behalf of the organization to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) opposing the proposed Sabal Trail Pipeline. WWALS members actively contacted their legislators about the Flint River aquifer storage bill until it was an acceptable version. WWALS was also an advocate on behalf of solar energy to the Georgia PSC. Activity regarding the Superfund site in Waycross included monitoring, attending events and blogging. A digital bill board advertisement was purchased to invite people to paddle events in the spring. Information tables were attended and literature distributed at the Rhythm and Ribs Festival in Tifton and at the Valdosta State University Earth Day event which was sponsored by Students Against Violating the Environment (S.A.V.E). The WWALS web site (www.wwals.net) is a resource to the community at large (local, state, and national) about the activities and issues in the WWALS watershed.

7. Conclusion

With basic formation now complete, the WWALS Watershed Coalition can now focus on fund raising to support projects including water trail establishment, education about the sensitivity of the watershed, leading community events which raise awareness of the importance of our watershed and to act as an advocate on issues of watershed importance.

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