WWALS Goals for 2014

A surprising number of the Board’s nine goals for 2014 have been accomplished, and some new ones have already been added. What goals should WWALS have for 2015?

Goals accomplished include becoming an IRS 501(c)(3) and raising money for and purchasing insurance. Some we’ve been doing right along: cleanups, including Rivers Alive. Some are so much the core of what WWALS does that we didn’t even list them as goals, but we’ve been doing them anyway: monthly outings and indoor events.

The later-added goal of the Alapaha River Water Trail is well along towards accomplishment, and it’s helping us start towards the goal of outreach to schools.

Some we’ve done the initial part of and more work is needed: Army Corps of Engineers flooding study and Waycross Superfund site assistance, plus we’ve done water quality testing certification; and now need to do water quality monitoring. Some have been lagging: invasive species monitoring and mapping everything. While one, opposing the Sabal Trail pipeline, continues to eat a lot of time.

At the 8 January 2014 WWALS Board Directors meeting at the IHOP in Adel, GA, From the Minutes, these were the board members at the time: Dave Hetzel (DH), Garry Gentry (GG), John S. Quarterman (jsq), April Huntley (AH), Bret Wagenhorst (BW), Al Browning (AB), Chris Graham (CG), Gretchen Quarterman (GQ), Karan Rawlins (KR).

The minutes note:

GG suggested we develop goals for 2014 and a plan to accomplish these goals.

BW wondered how many goals we could accomplish.

jsq noted the goals that had somebody take ownership for making them happen would be the ones that were achieved.

Likely owners are indicated by initials below. I’ve added a few notes about some things we’ve done for each goal.

Goals:

  1. Participate in Rivers Alive clean up
    BW,AB,DH

    2014-09-27: Rivers Alive cleanup of Alapaha River at US 82.

    2014-12-20: Alapaha Dry River Cleaup near Jasper, FL.

  2. Outreach to schools to teach students about watershed health and science
    AB,DH,GG

    High school student contest for a logo for the Alapaha River Water Trail, going on right now; winners to be announced at the ARWT Conference 14 March 2015. Deanna Mericle is the principal organizer of the logo contest.

  3. Do invasive species monitoring and water quality monitoring on all WWALS outings.
    KR,CG,AB

    2014-05-17: Adopt-A-Stream presented about water quality testing in a boat during the WWALS outing at the rookery on Lewis Lake.

  4. Water quality certification for as many people & members as possible & partner with Adopt-a-Stream
    AB,DH,CG

    2015-01-10: Adopt-A-Stream water quality testing training and certification at Reed Bingham State Park, thanks to Ochlockonee River Water Trail and Golden Triangle RC&D.

  5. Map encroachment, water quality, invasive species, pesticide run off and share info
    DH,JQ,AB,KR,CG jsq noted this goal encompasses or abstracts many of the others.

    Some mapping in progress for the Alapaha River Water Trail.

  6. 501c3 and insurance
    DH,GQ,JQ

    2014-06-09: IRS letter confirmed 501(c)(3) status, retroactive to WWALS incorporation of 8 June 2012.

    We also funded and bought Directors and Officers and outings and event insurance. Insurance has to be paid for annually, of course, so if you want to join or contribute to WWALS, that would help.

  7. Get WWALS involved in watershed mapping of floodplains by Army Corps of Engineers in our watershed areas
    JQ,CG

    We do have acknowledgement from USACE that WWALS can participate. We’re always following what the Valdosta City Council is up to about that. Since the proposed flooding study is for the entire Suwannee River Basin, we’re contacting other interested parties ongoing. Plus we have compiled displays of current water levels on the Withlacoochee and Little Rivers, and on the Alapaha River.

  8. Waycross superfund site mess how relates to WWALS watersheds
    JQ,CG

    2014-10-22: Waycross Seven Out Superfund Site in GWC Dirty Dozen 2014. WWALS didn’t have anything to do with putting it in that list, but we’re happy to help advertise it.

  9. Oppose the Sabal Trail methane pipeline
    JQ,AH,CG

    2014-10-22: At WWALS’ suggestion, Withlacoochee River & Floridan Aquifer: Gas Pipeline Threatens Southwest Georgia Water, Way of Life, in the Georgia Water Coalition Dirty Dozen 2014.

    2014-11-15: WWALS filed ecomment with FERC including Dirty Dozen #9.

    2014-11-26: WCTV interview about Item #9 on the Dirty Dozen.

    2014-12-16: WWALS moves to intervene with FERC about Sabal Trail pipeline.

    And WWALS helped lobby some of the six counties and two cities that have passed resolutions against the Sabal Trail pipeline, including in WWALS watersheds Hamilton County, Florida, Colquitt, Brooks, and Lowndes Counties, Georgia, and Valdosta, Georgia.

Additional Goals

  1. Monthly outings are so much a core feature of WWALS we didn’t mention it as a goal, but it is. In 2014 WWALS organized ten outings, and several others were cancelled due to high water. We’ve adopted a policy of always having a backup lake or pond in case the river is too high or too low, and that seems to be preventing cancellations. See the Outings page a list of outings, with details.

  2. Events such as seminars a couple of times a year have also always been a WWALS feature.

    2014-12-13: Organizational Meeting for the Alapaha River Water Trail (ARWT).

    2015-03-14: Logo prizes and Conference for ARWT.

  3. Raising money to hire an Executive Director was added as a goal by the board in April 2014.

  4. The Alapaha River Water Trail became a goal in June 2014 when WWALS won a Turner regrant from Georgia River Network.

    2015-01-15: Mid-Year ARWT Progress Report

  5. Doing something about the recent mega-purchases of agricultural land in our watersheds by investors from elsewhere, mostly Bill Gates, is another possible goal being considered.

What do you think? What should WWALS’ goals for 2015 be?

To support what WWALS is doing, you can become a WWALS member or donate today, at http://www.wwals.net/donations/.

-jsq