Gulf and south Atlantic Waterkeeper Retreat

FERC reform as an initiative was one result of this year’s meeting, this time where Georgia Water Coalition usually meets, of the Riverkeepers and other Waterkeeper members and affiliates from Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and beyond as far as Oklahoma and Pennsylvania.

Group Front row by himself: Pete Harrison (Waterkeeper Alliance attorney).
Kneeling: Rick Frey (St Marys), Dan Tonsmeire (Apalachicola), Laura Jackson (Mobile), Rachael Thompson (Satilla), Dale Caldwell (Chattahoochee), Kemp Burdette (Cape Fear), Gordon Rogers (Flint)
Standing: Jason Ulseth (Chattahoochee), Bill Strangler (Congaree), Casi Callaway (Mobile), Susan Wendel (Altamaha) Earl Hatley (Grand), Elena Fodera Richards (Savannah), Emily Markesteyn (Ogeechee), John S. Quarterman (WWALS), Bart Mihailovich (Waterkeeper), Bruce Bodson (Galveston), Krissy Kasserman (Youghiogheny, wearing the blue and gray plaid shirt) Henry Jacobs (Chattachoochee, wearing the beanie cap leaning against the wall), Jacob Oblander (Lower Savannah River Alliance Affiliate, right behind Krissy), Michael Mullen (Choctawhatchee, right next to Jacob), Rebecca Jim (Tar Creek, right next to Krissy), Tonya Bonitatibus (Savannah), Matt Starr (Upper Neuse, right behind Gordon), Cade Kistler (Mobile, against wall), Sam Perkins (Catawba), Lisa Rinaman (St Johns).
Not pictured: Kaitlin Warren, Seth Clark, and Jen Hilburn (Altamaha), Rachel Sliverstein (Miami), Kelly Cox (Miami), Neil Armingeon (Matanzas), Gretchen Quarterman (WWALS), Anna Alsobrook (French Broad), Bill D’Antuono and Harrison Langley (Collier), Misha Mitchell (Atchaflaya), Myra Crawford (Cahaba), John Paul (Caloosahatchee), Kevin Jeselnik (Chattahoochee), Frank Chitwood (Coosa), Hartwell Carson (French Broad), Rob Walters (Three Rivers).

That group picture was taken late after many people had left, and some never arrived, due to hurricane or other reasons. Some of the missing are below in pictures Gretchen took, including one of Altamaha Riverkeeper Jen Hilburn, in whose extensive watersheds we met. And of course FERC reform wasn’t the only initiative: trash, biological contamination, CAFOs, and others are on the agenda.

Bart Mihailovich, Waterkeeper Alliance, 3 November 2016, 2016 Gulf and South Atlantic Regional Retreat Recap,

At the end of October on the sprawling grounds of the Georgia Wildlife Federation Alcovy Conservation Center in Covington, Georgia, 41 attendees representing 30 organizations (27 Waterkeeper Organizations, 3 Affiliates) gathered for three days of strategic planning and networking at the combined Waterkeeper Alliance Gulf and South Atlantic 2016 Regional Retreat.

There are more pictures in Bart’s post.

And this:

…The bulk of the agenda focused on building upon the framework discussions around regional collaborative initiatives that were started at the 2016 Annual Waterkeeper Conference in Wilmington, NC in June. At that time the regions decided to focus their attention on working collaboratively within the regions on bacteria, stormwater and regulatory / legislative failure. Whereas the ideas were mere titles in Wilmington, the retreat is where they became working ideas and shared initiatives.

The top initiative about broken legislation by votes was FERC reform. The grain of sand in that oyster was the letter from 182 organizations in 35 states already organized by Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper, asking Congress to rein in the rogue agency FERC. WWALS proposed this item, and was backed especially by Flint Riverkeeper Gordon Rogers and Mobile Baykeeper Casi Callaway.

Can FERC reform happen fast enough to stop Sabal Trail? Probably not, but this effort against the rubberstamp agency that approved Sabal Trail ramps up the pressure. Stay tuned.


You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

Gretchen Quarterman’s pictures

These are a few pictures from a facebook album by Gretchen Quarterman, WWALS Treasurer and acting Executive Director.

Rachel Jacquelin (Satilla), Jacob Oblander (Savannah), Jenifer Hilburn (Altamaha)

Rachel Jacquelin (Satilla), Jacob Oblander (Savannah), Jenifer Hilburn (Altamaha)

Flint Riverkeeper Gordon Rogers and John S. Quarterman of WWALS

Flint Riverkeeper Gordon Rogers and John S. Quarterman of WWALS

Florida Waterkeepers

Florida Waterkeepers Rick Frey (St Marys), ?, Dan Tonsmeire (Apalachicola), Rachel Siverstein Altman (Miami), John Paul (Caloosahatchee), Neil Armingeon (Matanzas), Bill D’Antuono and Harrison Langley, John S. Quarterman (WWALS).

Gretchen went to the Georgia breakout session. St Marys and WWALS are the only Waterkeepers that cross the Georgia-Florida line.

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!