The GWC will hold its 2017 spring partner meeting in conjunction with the Georgia River Network’s Weekend for Rivers Event. There will be multiple training opportunities for our partners 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! Register now at https://www.regonline.com/rivermeeting
We have 15 rooms in the Lodge and 25 campsites blocked for Thursday 4/27/17 thru Saturday 4/29/17. Please use the 04748 when making your reservations at Little Ocmulgee State Park Reservations.
Water Coalition Meeting
Thursday, April 27th
6PM – 10:00PM … Group supper and socializing
Come early to Little Ocmulgee State Park and join us Thursday evening for supper and socializing with GWC partners. We will enjoy a meal catered by Altamaha Riverkeeper at Group Pavilion 1 from 6- 10:00PM. Open to any partner group of the Georgia Water Coalition. Menu: Grilled chicken, Spaghetti & Meatballs & sauces, Ham/bean stew, Veggie stew, Green bean casserole, Salad, Rolls, $15 BYOB
Friday, April 28th Spring Georgia Water Coalition 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.
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
GWC Workshop Descriptions
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.
River Network Presentation - Protecting and Restoring Flows in Your River: State Policies for Water Security and Sustainability, Katherine Baer and April Ingle
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.
The Agricultural Water Footprint in Georgia – Chris Manganiello
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.
Stick around for Georgia River Network’s “Weekend for Rivers” starting Friday night!
Georgia River Network’s Weekend for Rivers items are offered ”a la carte” this year rather than in an all inclusive ticket in order to provide you with the lowest possible price based on what you want to participate in and what meals you wish to eat with us during your stay at Little Ocmulgee State Park. Buffet lunch can be purchased separately in the dining room during lunch break for $9.25. Also plan to pay $5 for parking unless you have a Georgia State Park’s pass or have a reservation in a lodge room. You can purchase just the Guided Paddle on the Little Ocmulgee on Saturday afternoon if you wish to just come for this activity. The paddle will be from 3:30-7:30pm. Boat rental options are available. This guided paddling trip is limited to 25 participants. Sign up early to secure your spot!
Friday April 28, 6-10pm
GRN Low Country Boil Dinner and River Celebration Awards
Dinner catered by Altamaha Riverkeeper, Cash Bar
$25 for dinner ticket, Drinks are $3 at cash bar
Evening – Spend the night in Little Ocmulgee State Park – camp out or reserve a lodge room!
Saturday April 29 – Conference Sessions and Paddle
8am-9am Registration and Hot Breakfast in the Dining Room
9:00-9:25 Welcome and Introductions
9:30-10:15 Lisa Hollingsworth-Segedy, AICP, American Rivers
Is Dam Removal Right for Your River?
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.
10:25-10:55 Katherine Baer, River Network
From Lemons to Clean Water
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.
11:00-11:55 Brian Gist of SELC
How to Reduce the Impacts of Transportation Projects on Rivers
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.
10:25-11:55 Strategic Planning with April Ingle
Plan Your Impact! Create an Inspired Strategic Plan to Guide Your River Work
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.
Lunch on own in dining room.
1-3:00 Conference Sessions
1:00-1:15 The Wonderful World of Water Trails with Gwyneth Moody, GRN Director of Programs and Outreach
Turn your Community into a River Town – Build a Water Trail!
Is there a paddleable 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.
1:20-1:40 Water Trail Funding with Cheryl Delk, RLA, Special Projects Coordinator for Newton County Board of Commissioners and founding member of Yellow River Water Trail
FUNding your Water Trail Projects
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.
1:45-2:05 Water Trail Launch Design with Don Wells, President Mountain Stewards
Build the Perfect Launch for your Water Trail
The Mountain Stewards all-volunteer Trail Crew 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.
2:10-2:30 Navigating the Snags and Rapids of Permitting, Keith Parsons
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. Its 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.
2:35-2:55 Water Trail Marketing with Cheryl Smith, Tourism Project Manager, Northeast Georgia Mountains Region, Georgia Dept. of Economic Development
Get the Word Out! Marketing Tools & Resources for your Water Trail
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.
3:30 Paddle on the Little Ocmulgee River or Explore the Park