7 July 2013
The WWALS Watershed Coalition had a successful first year, raising over $2400.00 which was used for incorporation, financial and legal guidance. The group held 16 meetings which included speakers, two trainings, and six outings which included river races and leisurely river trips.
2. Officers and Board
The board for 2012-2013 included:
Dave Hetzel, President,
John S. Quarterman, Senior Vice President,
Brittney Hull, Treasurer,
Nathan Wilkins, Secretary (replaced by Gretchen Quarterman in April),
Heather Brasell (replacing Nathan Wilkins in April).
3. Financial Report
The group began the year with donations from board members and friends, and raised money to pay lawyer Paul Alvarado to complete the incorporation documents and advertising requirements. WWALS held two major fund raisers.
One was in March and was held in conjunction with the Friends of Reed Bingham Parks. Coordinated by WWALS Board Member Bret Wagenhorst, the race was well attended and attracted attention to the need for watershed advocacy.
The other was 11 May 2013 with South Georgia Author Janisse Ray and raised over $1200 through donations, memberships and a silent auction.As of June 30, 2013, cash on hand was $1617.00
- 2012-06-27: Emily Davenport, City of Valdosta,
- 2012-06-28: Angela Bray, SGRC,
- 2012-07-11: Richard Lowrance, USDA-ARS,
- 2012-07-25: Joe Lewis, ARS,
- 2012-08-08: Burt Earley, Georgia Forestry,
2012-09-13: Tom Baird, River Historian,
- 2012-12-12: Janet McMahan, concerned citizen,
Gordon Rogers, Flint Riverkeeper,
Tim Carroll, Valdosta City Councilman,
- 2013-05-08: Dr. George Vellidis, UGA, and
George Page, Valdosta Lowndes Parks and Recreation.
WWALS, in conjunction with the SGRC, sponsored and attended a Water Quality Training Seminar 25 August 2012 which included classroom time and an outing in Drexel Park in Valdosta for hands on water quality testing.
WWALS had one special half-day event 22 September 2012 at NESPAL in Tifton, with approximately 30 attendees and speakers of Dave Hetzel, WWALS President, Neil Herring, Political Activist, Jesslyn Shields, Georgia River Network, and Karan Rawlins, UGA.
- 2012-10-22 – Little River at Reed Bingham,
19 January 2013 – Alapaha River at Willacoochee,
- 16 February 2013 – Alapaha at Old State Road ( cancelled due to flooding)
- 23 March 2013 – Big Little River Paddle Race, Red Roberts Landing to Reed Bingham Lake, rescheduled to 30 March 2013 due to weather.
- 20 April 2013 – Withlacoochee from GA-122 to Franklinville,
22 June 2013 –
Withlacoochee from Nankin Road to GA-31.
The outings were well attended with over 40 different individuals participating.
6. 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 Matters meetings in November and May and Senior Vice President John S. Quarterman gave a presentation about WWALS at the Georgia River Network conference 6 April 2013.
Letters were written on behalf of the organization
- to the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners, opposing the closing of Old State Road (the only public boat ramp in Lowndes County on the Alapaha) and
Georgia PSC regarding water usage and power
Both letters were signed and mailed by President Dave Hetzel and additionally delivered in person by WWALS Board Members who attended the relevant meetings.
While still in its formative state, the WWALS Watershed Coalition is actively taking part in and leading community events which raise awareness of the importance of our watershed and to act as an advocate on issues of watershed importance.