7:30 PM Wednesday 8 April 2015
IHOP Adel, GA
WWALS Board Members: John S. Quarterman (President), Garry Gentry (Secretary), Gretchen Quarterman (Treasurer), Dave Hetzel (VP for Membership and Ambassador), Bret Wagenhorst (Outings Committee Chair), Karan A. Rawlins (Events Commitee Chair), Chris Graham (Alapaha River Water Trail Committee Chair), Al Browning, Chris Mericle
Board members present: John S. Quarterman, Dave Hetzel, Gretchen Quarterman, Bret Wagenhorst, Chris Mericle, plus Deanna Mericle and Barbara Stratton.
Board members absent: Garry Gentry, Karan A. Rawlins, Al Browning.
- Call to Order
President called to order about 7:30 PM.
First year was all donations, later plus some income from paddle race. We need to actively recruit donors and grants as it all can’t come from $25 membership dues.
- Current Balances
$2,774.05 in bank, $50 outstanding check, PayPal $1,134.34.
- Upcoming Payments
Paid SOS $30 to keep Corp registration. Insurance about $1,700 coming up but rates may change.
- Current Commitments
Waterkeeper group $150 annually if accepted.
- Grants: GRN grant (see ARWT Committee); others.
- Fundraising to hire executive director https://sites.google.com/site/wwalswatersheds/staff
Treasurer stated to hire an Exec Director in the middle of the year, it would cost about $15,000 in salary plus benefits, offices, etc., for a half-year total of about $32,000, increasing in future years with travel, conferences, etc. She discussed various issues about future needs, costs, location of office, etc.
- Agenda Review: Additions and Changes
Treasurer asked for Secretary section to be first in future agendas.
Bret noted a Richard Cummings had seen a white discharge into river. Gretchen suggested an online form for reporting such problems: date, time, maybe relevant ordinance, etc.
- Approve Minutes of 14 January 2015 WWALS Board meeting.
Gretchen moved to approve minutes of last meeting, Dave 2nd and unanimous approval.
- Approve next WWALS Board meeting: 8 July 2015, IHOP Adel?
Chris M. made motion to approve, Gretchen 2nd, unanimous approval.
- Goals for 2015. Executive Committee 11 March 2015 recommended the following goals for consideration by the Board. They are the same as for 2014 minus the one about 501(c)(3) and insurance, and plus the ones marked +. Also marked: initials of who previously said they would help lead these goals, and relevant committees.
Dave H. made motion, Chris M. 2nd, unanimous approval. Later published on WWALS website.
- Participate in Rivers Alive clean up: BW,AB,DH, Outings Committee
- Outreach to schools to teach students about watershed health and science: AB,DH,GG,CM,DM ARWT Committee
- Do invasive species monitoring and water quality monitoring on all WWALS outings: KR,CG,AB,CM,DM
- Water quality certification for as many people & members as possible & partner with Adopt-a-Stream: AB,DH,CG,DM,CM,jsq
- Map encroachment, water quality, invasive species, pesticide run off and share info (overarching goal): DH,JQ,AB,KR,CG,CM,DM ARWT Committee
- Get WWALS involved in watershed mapping of floodplains by Army Corps of Engineers in our watershed areas: JQ,CG,CM ARWT Committee, Pipeline Committee
- Waycross superfund site mess how relates to WWALS watersheds: JQ,CG Pipeline Committee
- Oppose the Sabal Trail methane pipeline: JQ,AH,CG,CM Pipeline Committee
- +Alapaha River Water trail: ARWT Committee
- +Raise funds to hire an Executive Director: full Board
- +Valdosta Wastewater: Pipeline Committee
- +Raise awareness about corporate agricultural land acquisitions and practices as they affect WWALS watersheds and the Floridan Aquifer: DH,CM,JQ,GQ Need a Committee?
- Allied Groups
- Waterkeeper Alliance: application and $150/year membership already approved by Executive Committee 11 March 2015.
John submitted application and is well received. Waterkeeper contact response letter said good job on application. Discussed advantages of being an affiliate now, maybe Waterkeeper later when we qualify (with dedicated office, phone number, paid staff, etc.).
It is no longer required to litigate to be a Riverkeeper: Waterkeeper has evolved on that point, largely because they have so many international members now, many of whom would lose their local charters if they litigated.
Waterkeeper is the group that determines who has which territory. Becoming a Waterkeeper Affiliate will solidify WWALS territory.
- (national) River Network
- Georgia River Network
Bret discussed deadline of April 20 to submit proposal to speak at annual GRN conference in Roswell, GA in Sept 19, 20. Bret said he would write the proposal on theme is river revelations 500 words. No boring Powerpoints minimum 6 minutes maximum 10 min. Mostly pictures and be creative.
- Neighbors: FrK, ORWT, Satilla RK, SOS, OSFR
- Membership Committee
Gretchen discussed that we now have more non-board members now than before. Making progress and she will mail them all letters.
Dave H. moved, Bret W. 2nd, to add Deanna Mericle to Membership Committee. Unanimous approval.
Deanna wanted to know who does newsletter: PR or Membership Committee? Answer: Membership. She wanted to know when it comes out, and recommended first of month. Bret noted keep it simple; all agreed, yet with content and pictures.
- Strategy, tactics, and plans for increasing membership.
Setting goals for every Board member to actively recruit new members for WWALS. And solicit donations.
- Renewal notices.
Membership Committee is sending them.
- List of groups where WWALS board members might speak.
KLVB, Keep Tift Beautiful, Rotary, Kiwanis, etc.
- Pipeline Committee -jsq
- Pipeline case in Leesburg, GA: approve attorney fee (Paul Alvarado) and Amicus brief (see separate document).
According to a different attorney the point from Georgia code doesn’t apply to natural gas pipelines, so no need to pay attorney. May be possible to repurpose draft.
Chris M. moved to file as a letter (or as Amicus if some attorney can advise how), Dave M. seconded, all aye.
See also 3 April 2015 article in Atlanta Journal Constitution featuring WWALS in which reporter noted it’s not just Sabal Trail; it’s also Palmetto pipeline and Elba Island LNG export in SE Georgia and Dalton Expansion Project in NW Georgia, so Atlanta is surrounded.
- 17 March 2015: Valdosta Wastewater meeting videos, slides, remaining questions. Greenlaw proposal.
Greenlaw’s attorneys are paid by grants, but to investigate, Greenlaw has to have a client to do something about Valdosta Wastewater issue such as Greenlaw’s proposal to hire an environmental justice investigator for $1,000 that WWALS would pay. So we need a Board decision on whether WWALS wants to be a client. jsq noted Valdosta already spent upwards of $10 million to upgrade Mud Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in Alapaha watersheds on east and south side of town before starting to upgrade the Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant. Plus they are spending money to fix breaks and other problems on east and south sides of town, apparently paying for that out of the general fund, which is actually more expensive to them because unlike dedicated SPLOST or other tax or grant monies general fund dollars have to be taken from other projects. After much discussion, jsq recommended WWALS continue talking directly to Valdosta City Council members and to people they recommend; also to try to get answers to some questions that were not answered in the recent VWW meeting, such as which manholes have been dealt with and which remain; which overflows were where; what is coming from the heavy industry; how much of that caused leaks; etc.
Gretchen made motion that WWALS not be Greenlaw’s client at this time, Dave 2nd, unanimous approval.
- HB 57 solar bill after WWALS @ GA PSC July 2013.
WWALS helped back in June 2013 by sending two board members to speak to GA PSC (jsq and Garry), and in other ways. Georgia legislature has finally unanimously in both houses approved a solar financing bill.
Hahira sewage treatment issue. Barbara Stratton discussed $2 million grant for Hahira and then still dumping treated sewage into river, with apparently several recent proposals for modifications; also stormwater vs. sewage. WWALS should look into this issue. Dave Hetzel will talk to Hahira City Manager Jonathan Sumner.
Gretchen made motion to add Deanna Mericle to Pipeline Committee. Bret 2nd, unanimous approval.
- Alapaha Water Trail Committee, aka WWALS-ART. See http://wwals.com/blog/maps/alapaha-water-trail/.
- 14 March 2015: ARWT Conference and logo contest –Deanna Mericle
Deanna Mericle discussed winners of logo contest announced at 15 March 2015 ARWT Conference.
- 7 April 2015: ARWT Committee Meeting report on TODO for GRN grant, etc.
Discussion of type paper, size for brochure, potential formatters and printers, etc.
- 15 May 2015: GRN grant final report due; see timeline.
John reported on final grant report.
Bret moved for jsq to draft GRN grant proposal for Withlacoochee River Water Trail; Chris M. seconded; unanimous approval. (Later turned out GRN isn’t doing Turner regrants this year.)
Should there be two trails (Little and Withlacoochee) or one? Guidebooks often list them separately, but as far as population, access ownership, etc., it’s hard to separate them.
- Events Committee
- Public Relations Committee
- Current WWALS Committee with members are listed on the WWALS website under About, then under Committees, http://wwals.com/blog/about/committees/
- For PR to list an outing or event, we need to know: date, time of day, where, directions to get there written for somebody who knows nothing about it, and who’s in charge of ensuring the event happens.
- Press releases and news items in WWALS web page: http://wwals.com/blog/about/news/
Two items that get most coverage are opposition to Sabal Trail pipeline and ARWT logo contest, followed by BIG Little River Paddle Race.
- Outings Committee
Gretchen thanked Outings Committee for outings schedule, and Bret thanked Chris Mericle.
- 14 March 2014: Easy Outing on the Alapaha River at GA 135 -Bret Wagenhorst
- 18 April 2015: Rowetown Church to GA 135 -Bret Wagenhorst
- 16 May 2015: Third Annual Big LITTLE RIVER Paddle Race -Bret Wagenhorst
Back-up: the following afternoon.
Bret said use social media instead of billboard. Gretchen said she’s in favor of billboard and Bret said need 10 people to respond to break even. Get on radio in Valdosta and Gretchen volunteered. Our best year was 28 paddlers and weather has hampered event which is why we pushed it back this time.
- 9AM 14 June 2015: Sasser landing to Jennings Bluff -Chris Mericle
4 mile paddle with a hike along the Dead River to the sink
30 minute shuttle
Back-up: 10AM at Allen landing (CR 143 Ramp) on the Withlacoochee to the Mericle residence.
- 8AM 11 July 2015: Lanier Park to CSX RR track on the public right way. -Chris Graham
15 mile paddle Statenville gauge needs to be 1.5′ or higher
30 minute shuttle
Back-up: 10AM at Banks Lake (river too high or too low, etc.)
25 May 2015 Boating with Gwynth Moody of GRN. Take her to both Lewis Lake and the Alapaha River. Bret wants to apply for that GRN Hidden Gems. Gwyneth is the GRN contact for Hidden Gems, so Bret would talk to her about that then at the outing with her. Also jsq noted some day, Paddle Georgia on the Alapaha River.
Chris Mericle will make sure Outings Spreadsheet is kept up to date.
- Review Action Item List: Please send reports to the board list before the meeting.
- Request for information from DNR –jsq Development laws and regulations related to water.
- Waycross about the Seven Out Superfund site –jsq
- Distribution of list of sites on EPA/EPD lists for counties in our watershed –jsq
- Flooding study by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). –jsq
- How busy everybody is
- Other Business
Dave moved to adjourn, Bret seconded, unanimous approval.