Establishes a Joint Committee on Water Supply that is directed to study the “current status” of the state’s reservoir system and is to analyze the “strategic needs for additional water supply,” including identification of “creative financing options.” The Committee is to issue a final report no later than December 31, 2010. We will diligently watch to ensure that Joint Committee on Water Supply and other parts of the bill do not serve to justify the construction of costly reservoirs or controversial Interbasin Transfers when much remains for Georgia to do to secure water supply in the quickest, cheapest and most environmentally sound manner possible - through water conservation and efficiency.
Interbasin Transfer bills Introduced In the House and Senate
Georgia legislators concerned about ensuring water for all Georgia communities introduced the River Basin Protection Act of 2010 last week seeking to regulate transfers of water from one river basin to another. Twenty-four Georgia’s Senators and 68 Representatives have signed on in support of these bills.
House Bill 1301 is sponsored by Representative Tom McCall, Representative Alan Powell and 66 other representatives, and would establish a system for regulating interbasin water transfers of 100,000 gallons or more, without prohibiting them. The Senate’s version, SB 462, is sponsored by Senator Jim Butterworth and Senator Preston Smith and 22 other senators.
The growing support for regulation of interbasin water transfers has been fueled by recent proposals to pipe water to Metro Atlanta from as far away as Lake Burton in Rabun County and wells in South Georgia.
The state’s existing laws regulating interbasin transfers are weak, only requiring the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) to issue a press release seven days before approving a permit involving a transfer of water from one river basin to another. The bills keep the existing prohibition on water transfers into the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District and create a list of criteria for EPD to consider in evaluating whether to issue a permit for an interbasin transfer. These criteria are similar to the criteria found in the statewide water plan for donor and receiving river basins. Both Tennessee and South Carolina have similar state laws regarding interbasin transfers.
A better alternative to interbasin transfers is water conservation and efficiency. Metro Atlanta could save between 130 and 210 million gallons of water per day by implementing water efficiency and conservation. Interbasin Transfers are costly, very controversial and would take a long time to provide drinking water. The cost of efficiency measures range from $0.46 to $250 per 1,000 gallons saved or new capacity. Water efficiency FIRST is the most cost-effective and timely solution.
Opponents of these regulations are attempting to stall and stop a hearing and a vote on the popular bill in the Georgia Senate.
The Senate Natural Resources Committee should hold a hearing and a vote on these important and popular bills.
E-mail the Committee Chairman (email@example.com) and Lt. Governor (E-mail Lt. Gov. Cagle Here) TODAY and ask them to hold a hearing and a vote. Deadline for responding: Please take action by Monday, March 22, 2010.
Clean Water Funds Targeted to Fill Budget Gap
The Georgia Fund is a state revolving loan fund that has provided more than $594 million for water and sewer improvements over the last five years via low-interest loans to cities, counties and water authorities. Governor Perdue’s FY2011 budget recommends selling off, as a bond package, as much as $450 million in current loan funding to provide $290 million towards the state budget shortfall. This proposal eliminates important funding for local governments and water authorities at a critical time when we need them to invest in fixing leaky pipes and upgrading water and sewage systems to provide plentiful clean water. The proposal could result in higher water bills and fewer new jobs. Local governments will likely have to pay higher rates to get the funds they need elsewhere and these higher costs will be passed onto ratepayers and important projects that create jobs and provide clean water will be delayed or even eliminated.
No Rollbacks: The GWC is working to oppose the following bills:
SB 321: Sponsored by Sen. Chip Pearson. This bill would allow private corporations to build and operate reservoirs for drinking water supply.
HB 406: Sponsored by Rep. Mike Coan. This bill undermines existing intergovernmental service agreements, discouraging water utilities from investing in existing water systems, would have statewide impacts on the revenue bond market, and make it more difficult to finance infrastructure projects. HB 406 failed to get the majority vote needed to pass the Senate last year and was sent back to the Senate Rules Committee, and can be taken up again this year.
HB 316: Sponsored by Rep. Earl Ehrhart. This bill exempts state entities from paying local stormwater fees.
SB 486: sponsored by Sen. Tolleson. This bill would eliminate the appeals process for permits issued by EPD, the Coastal Marshlands Protection Committee and the Shore Protection Committee.
2. 90 Attend Water Trails Workshop
Georgia River Network hosted the first statewide workshop on water trails at the Georgia Wildlife Federation's Alcovy Conservation Center on March 11. This full day workshop featured speakers on water trail efforts at the national, regional, state and local levels and well as networking opportunities for participants to talk with others working on trails. The diverse crowd of 90 included representatives of sportsman groups, paddle groups, governments and agencies, watershed groups, tourism representatives, economic development community, regional commissions and interested citizens. Presentations are posted on the Georgia River Network website at http://www.garivers.org/events/watertrails.htm
3. Paddle Georgia 2010 – Register Now
Paddle Lite is sold out. Spots still open for thru paddlers.
This summer, join fellow paddling enthusiasts for Paddle Georgia, a week-long, 80-mile canoe/kayak adventure on North Georgia’s Broad and Savannah rivers from Elberton to Augusta and experience Georgia as you never have before.
• Daily paddle trips averaging 11 miles
• Nightly camping with meals, games, entertainment and educational programs
• Tours of industrial facilities, historic sites and more
• Scientific research including chemical and biological water monitoring
• Companionship and camaraderie with hundreds of fellow paddlers
• Fundraiser for Georgia River Network, Broad River Watershed Association and Savannah Riverkeeper
Learn more at http://www.garivers.org/paddle_georgia/pghome.html.
River Protector Sponsors - Georgia Power
River Runner Sponsors - Hennessey Land Rover
River Rapids Sponsors - CYA Agency Inc., International Paper, Kettle Foods, Mohawk, Outside World, Patagonia, REM
Contributing Sponsors - Burt’s Bee, Café Campesino, China Clay Producers, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Nature Valley, Oglethorpe Power, Peachtree The Rain Barrel Company, REI, Sahale Snacks
In Kind Sponsors - Georgia Aquarium, Menasha Ridge Press
4. GRN Annual Conference Presentations Online
Miss our annual conference on Jekyll Island or want to re-live the fun? You can view the presentations online at
5. Paddle Georgia 2009 Video Shown at Tara
Bob Selwyn’s 2009 video made the big screen and the Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival. If you missed it, you can view the 9 minute video at http://www.youtube.com/user/paddlegeorgia#p/u/0/a67OErb3OAo
6. Banff Film Festival at Georgia Tech
March 22, 2010 at the Ferst Center for the Performing Arts, Georgia Tech
Sponsored by REI and benefits Georgia River Network, Georgia Forest Watch and Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. This is the only Georgia stop on the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour. This year's tour features a collection of the most inspiring and thought-provoking action, environmental, and adventure mountain films. Traveling from remote landscapes and cultures to up close and personal with adrenaline-packed action sports, the 2009/2010 World Tour is an exhilarating and provocative exploration of the mountain world. $15 Advance General Public $12 for Students, Seniors and Children $11 Group rate when 8 or more tickets are purchased Tickets available at all Atlanta area REI stores. http://www.rei.com/event/1015/session/1242
7. National River Rally - Utah
May 21-24 River Rally!
8. Non-profit Board Seminars - Athens
The Nonprofit Program of the Terry College of Business, University of Georgia, announces its Board Member Seminars for Winter/Spring Semester 2010. The popular seminar, which is available without charge to nonprofit board members and directors, will be held on Mar. 24. The seminar is held from 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. in the Tate Center on the UGA campus and cover the following topics: Responsibilities of Board Members, Strategic Planning, Working with Volunteers, and Fund Raising. Boards may send up to four members at one time. Each person must register and receive a confirmation; we don't just "hold" seats for your organization. You may register for the Seminars online at the Program's website page: http://www.terry.uga.edu/management/non_profit/information/register.php. Online registration for each seminar opens one month before each seminar. Or, contact the Nonprofit Office at 706-542-3750 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
9. Educator Workshop at the Len Foote Hike Inn – North Georgia
This workshop is for Georgia Educators working with grades 5-12. (Informal educators and senior or graduate pre-service educators may also apply.) The workshop will emphasize the importance of conservation of natural resources, with special attention given to Georgia's wildlife, forests and forest products. Participants will learn hands-on practical exercises that can supplement their classroom curricula and student projects. The first 30 selected applicants who submit their application form, fee, and essay, will have the opportunity to spend three days and two nights at the Len Foote Hike Inn. The $100 includes lodging, breakfast for two days, lunch for one day, and supper for two days, Project Learning Tree (PLT) book, Project WET book, T-Shirt, and Amicalola State Park parking fee. Participants may also earn 2 Professional Learning Units (PLUs) - prior approval from your county will be needed. Participants will be taken on first come, first served basis and the quality of the essay will be taken into consideration. The deadline to apply is April 10, 2010. Participants will be notified by May 1, 2010. The workshop fee of $100.00 will be refunded if you are not accepted. Note: Moderate physical exertion will be required to attend the workshop because of the 5 mile hike in and out. Participants will meet at 9 AM on June 23rd to hike in (please pack a lunch) and depart at 10 AM on June 25th to hike out (completing the hike/program by about 1 PM). Visit http://www.eeingeorgia.org/net/calendar/details.aspx?c=3279725&s=867184.108.40.20663
10. NTEN Technology Conference - Atlanta
Non-profit technology conference April 8 – 10, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia at the Omni Hotel @ CNN Center. Register online at: www.gcn.org.
11. ICL Vision to Impact Program
Build leadership and take your organization to the next level. Learn more at http://www.icl.org/programs/signature-intensive/vision-impact.
12. Recruiting and Involving Volunteers Audio Conference – 4/1
Click here to learn more.
13. Lobbying Rules for Nonprofits Web Workshop 3/30/2010
Want to know how your organization can lobby for the public interest? This one-hour online session, beginning at 2:00 p.m. will explain the federal tax laws governing 501(c)(3) lobbying, including how to calculate your lobbying limits under the insubstantial part test and the 501(h) expenditure test, definitions of direct and grassroots lobbying, exceptions to the definition of lobbying and the application of these rules to ballot measure activities. Workshop Registration is $25 per attendee. Visit www.afj.org.
14. Deborah Sheppard of Altamaha Riverkeeper in Georgia Trend Magazine
Deborah Sheppard, Executive Director of Altamaha Rivekeeper is recognized as one of 4 top women in the state who are making a difference in the March 2010 Georgia Trend magazine. The magazine of Georgia business and politics lists Deborah because she “stands guard over Georgia’s largest river system”. See the full article at http://www.altamahariverkeeper.org.
15. James Holland, Altamaha Riverkeeper, Retiring
You can celebrate the man and support the river on May 1 by attending James’s retirement party on May 1. Details at http://altamahariverkeeper.org/. Altamaha Riverkeeper James Holland will retire effective April 30 after nearly a decade leading one of Georgia's most active grassroots environmental watchdog organizations. Although stepping down as Riverkeeper, Holland plans to remain active through his work photographing wildlife and "educating others about what a beautiful world we have out there."
16. Join the Georgia Environmental Action Network or GEAN
GEAN is an on-line system that periodically provides you with information on the most important environmental issues and gives you the choice to take action and let decision makers know your views. The GEAN system automatically matches you to your elected officials, includes your contact information and delivers letters – all with one mouse click. Go to www.protectgeorgia.net and click “sign up”. When signing up, don’t forget to indicate that you are a member of Georgia River Network.
17. The Environmental Awareness Paradox – Begin With Behavior
Click here to read the article.
18. How to Carve Into the Facebook Wave
19. Five Environmental Message Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Click here to read the article.
20. What to Do When You Really Disagree With a Board Decision
21. EPA Watershed Wiki
Contribute information about your watershed. http://www.epa.gov/watershedcentral/wiki.html
22. Fundraising Deadlines
The following foundations are either new to our list of grants or have upcoming deadlines to submit proposals. To view grant makers that give throughout the year, visit our website at http://www.garivers.org/resources/tools/grants.html.
AEC Trust Technical Grants are made to charitable organizations seeking technical assistance. Visit https://online.foundationsource.com/public/home/aec. Deadlines: April 1 and September 1.
AGL Resources support environmental stewardship projects such as clean air, conservation, & green space. Unsolicited grants are welcome but are rarely approved. Deadline: Quarterly. Visit http://www.aglresources.com/community/guidelines.aspx.
Ben and Jerry's Foundation provides grants ranging from $1,000 - $15,000 for grassroots organizing that leads to environmental change and addresses the root causes of environmental problems. Letters of inquiry may be submitted at any time and are reviewed three times a year. Click here for more information: http://www.benjerry.com/foundation/.
The mission of the Educational Foundation of America is to improve individual lives and their surroundings through education and awareness, in hopes of bettering humanity and the world we inhabit. The Foundation’s areas of interest include the environment, reproductive freedom, theatre, drug policy reform, democracy, peace and national security issues, education, medicine, and human services. Letters of inquiry may be submitted by email at any time. Visit http://www.efaw.org.
Environmental Protection Agency: Source Reduction Assistance Grant Program EPA annually awards grants and cooperative agreements under the Source Reduction Assistance (SRA) Grant Program to support pollution prevention/source reduction and/or resource conservation projects that reduce or eliminate pollution at the source. The grant program does not support projects that rely on reducing pollution by using recycling, treatment, disposal or energy recovery activities. This solicitation announces that EPA’s Regional Pollution Prevention (P2) Program Offices anticipate having up to $130,000, per region, to issue SRA awards in FY 2010. EPA will issue the awards in the form of grants and/or cooperative agreements. All funding will be awarded and managed by the EPA Regional P2 Program Offices. All of the forgoing estimates are subject to the availability of Congressional appropriations. Visit http://www07.grants.gov/search/search.do?&mode=VIEW&flag2006=false&oppId=50765
The Home Depot Foundation makes grants to 501(c)(3) tax exempt public charities for several purposes including community cleanup. Grants typically range from $10,000 to $50,000. Preference is given to proposals that encourage volunteerism and community engagement that result in the restoration or conservation of community and wildland forests for a healthier environment that address one or both of the following: restore urban or rural forests for environmental and economic benefit using community volunteers in planting and maintenance efforts, promote sustainable forestry management to ensure responsible harvesting and use of wood resources. Proposals are accepted throughout the year, and grants are awarded four times a year. Visit www.homedepotfoundation.org.
The Impact Fund awards grants to non-profit legal firms, private attorneys and/or small law firms who seek to advance social justice in the areas of civil and human rights, environmental justice and/or poverty law. They seek to provide funding for public interest litigation that will potentially benefit a large number of people, lead to significant law reform, or raise public consciousness. The Impact Fund has awarded over $4 million in general and donor-advised grants, since its inception. The Impact Funds awards grants four times per year, with the average grant size being $10,000 - $15,000. The maximum grant amount awarded to any single applicant per year is $25,000. Pre-applications reviewed 4 times a year. Visit http://www.impactfund.org/pages/grants/grants.htm.
Ittleson Foundation supports innovative pilot, model and demonstration projects that will help move individuals, communities, and organizations from environmental awareness to environmental activism by changing attitudes and behaviors. Initial letters of inquiry due by April 1st or September 1st. Visit http://www.ittlesonfoundation.org/enviro.html.
Mead Westvaco Foundation's primary focus is to enhance the quality of life in communities where MeadWestvaco has major operations and where MeadWestvaco employees and their families live and work. This includes providing direct grant support and encouraging active management and employee leadership involvement and volunteerism. Priorities for contributions in small and/or rural communities, where there are fewer sources of contributions, often address a broad range of needs. Support for urban communities is generally more targeted. Additionally, the Foundation seeks to provide leadership for advancing research, education and public dialogue on public policy issues of special interest, such as the economy, regulation and environmental stewardship. Proposals for grants are accepted throughout the year. Grants range from $250 to $10,000. Visit http://www.meadwestvaco.com/index.htm.
Norcross Wildlife Foundation provides funding for equipment and publications. Grants range from $1,000 - $5,000. Visit http://www.norcrossws.org/.
The Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation promotes a sustainable and just social and natural system by supporting grassroots organizations and movements committed to this goal. The Foundation provides support to organizations nationwide in the following funding categories: Protecting the Health and Environment of Communities Threatened by Toxics; Advancing Environmental Justice; Promoting a Sustainable Agricultural and Food System; and Ensuring Quality Reproductive Health Care as a Human Right. Applications are accepted throughout the year. Visit http://www.noyes.org/.
RBC Blue Water Project - Support for Water Stewardship Programs
The RBC Blue Water Project, an initiative of the Royal Bank of Canada, will provide $50 million in grants over ten years to support programs that foster a culture of water stewardship in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and the United Kingdom. The initiative’s specific grantmaking priorities are Watershed Protection and Access to Safe Drinking Water. Applications are currently being accepted for Leadership Grants, ranging from $25,000 to $500,000, that support local, regional, national, and trans-border organizations for projects that address the initiative’s priorities. The application deadline is March 22, 2010. Visit the website for detailed information about the initiative and Leadership Grant application guidelines http://www.rbc.com/community/donations/blue-water.html.
Techsoup - Discounted Computer Software
Click on this website to purchase computer software at great prices. Must be 501c3. www.techsoup.org.
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