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News Stream
  November 2010
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In This Issue

Georgia River Network News Stream
November, 2010


News
1.    GA River Network, American Rivers and Southern Environmental Law Center Challenge Costly, Harmful and Unnecessary Lake
2.    Canton, GA Fire Station Installs Rainwater Harvesting System
3.    The South River’s Big Problem
4.    Georgia Lake Society Recruiting Board Members

Workshops/Conferences/Calendar Items
5.    Save the Date! Georgia River Network Conference 2011
6.    Paddle Georgia 2011
7.    Nominate River Network’s National River Hero

8.    Four Stages of Organizational Development: What does it mean for my board?
9.    The ESRI Nonprofit Organization Program
10.    Building Community Capacity through Grant Collaborations
11.    Daring to Lead

12.    Savannah Riverkeeper Roast on the River



Resources

13.    Better Writing for Your Organization   
14.    How much time and energy should we be investing in our website?
15.    Get people reading that newsletter!
16.    Reduce Audit Costs!

Fundraising Deadlines
17.    Grants

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1.    GRN, American Rivers and Southern Environmental Law Center Challenge Costly, Harmful and Unnecessary Lake
On behalf of the Georgia River Network and American Rivers, the Southern Environmental Law Center has challenged in federal court the flawed basis for the Army Corps of Engineers' decision to permit a $17 million, 960-acre recreational fishing lake in Grady County, Georgia near the Florida state line.

The lawsuit, filed earlier this month, focuses on a flawed study underlying the permit that overestimates the number of people that would use the lake. The challenge also asserts that the project would destroy over nine miles of streams and could destroy up to 518 acres of valuable wetlands-significantly more than the 129 acres of wetlands estimated by the Corps.

Click here to read the rest of the story.


2.    Canton, GA Fire Station Installs Rainwater Harvesting System
Fire Station #2 in Canton, Georgia has made the wise decision to harvest the rainwater from the roof of the station and part of the driveway. The water will be filtered and stored in four 1700 gallon inground cisterns and will be used to wash fire trucks, flush toilets, and irrigate the property. This will reduce the fire station's municipal water demand by hundreds of thousands of gallons per year!
Click HERE for more information.


3.    The South River’s Big Problem
Located in the heart of Dekalb County, the South River’s “Panola Shoals” is a sight to behold. At the intersection of Snapfinger Road and Panola Road, the South River flows from under a bridge and down and over a huge, gently sloping outcrop that is quite possibly the most perfect natural water slide. As a bonus, at the bottom of the shoal the river creates an enormous 2-3 acre sandbar, perfect for picnics and sunbathing. It’s no wonder when a new  parking lot was recently built just a short scramble up the bank from this seemingly splendid play land that members of the community started flocking to the river by the hundreds.

People brought their kids to slide down the rocks, set up barbeques and picnics on the sandbar, and donned bathing suits to splash in the water. But, there was a big problem. For decades, the South River has been plagued with severe pollution problems.

Panola Shoals is downstream from DeKalb County’s Snapfinger Wastewater Treatment Plant and the city of Atlanta’s South River and Intrenchment Creek waste water treatment plants, and is often referred to as the dirtiest river in Georgia. The water is too polluted for people to safely play and swim in the river, and in fact all 14 miles of the South River that run through DeKalb County are listed as “impaired” by the state Environmental Protection Division (EPD) because of fecal coliform and/or PCBs.

Fecal coliform is in the river because the sewage treatment plants and sewers are old and not large enough to deal with the amount of sewage and stormwater that flows into them, meaning they regularly overflow, spilling raw sewage into the river. Playing and swimming in water polluted with sewage can mean illness and infection from bacteria and viruses. The PCBs are a result of historical industrial pollution and can accumulate in fish and other aquatic critters and whatever eats them, including people.

Once local and state officials became aware that hundreds of people were playing in the polluted river, access down to the river was cordoned off with yellow police tape and signs saying “For Your Safety, Access to Waterway is Prohibited. Violators Will be Prosecuted” were posted on the banks.

While we have an obligation to protect the health of the public, at the same time we have an obligation to clean up this river so that the people and families of this community can return to the South River to swim, picnic, barbeque, and play in the shoals. Our rivers should not be places that are cordoned off like a crime scene with yellow police tape and posted to “keep out or risk prosecution” like a toxic waste site. We can do better, we must do better.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson stated at the “Coming Together for Clean Water” forum earlier this year her desire “to see a huge leap forward in water quality as we saw in the 1970s after the passage of the Clean Water Act.” The South River is a perfect candidate.

Several opportunities exist. First and foremost, EPA and Georgia should prioritize the South River for investments via Clean Water State Revolving Loan funds and stimulus funds. The South River and its watershed are also perfectly positioned to be on the cutting edge of urban river renewal by being pioneers in demonstrating how pollution problems can be solved with “Green Infrastructure” to create win-win solutions that are the lowest-cost and quickest to put in place. An example would be to create greenspace that would capture rain and runoff and let it naturally absorb into the ground, keeping it out of sewers so it doesn’t overwhelm sewage systems.

Another opportunity is the President’s new “Great American Outdoors ” initiative which aims to establish a renewed 21st century focus on conserving outdoor spaces and reconnecting Americans to the outdoors. Again, the South River is a perfect candidate for initiatives that will clean up the river and create a perfect place for urban outdoor adventure and fun.

Finally, during Georgia’s Triennial Review process this summer, Georgia River Network along with many of Georgia’s river protection groups advocated upgrading the “designated use” of many of the state’s rivers to a “recreation” classification which would mean stricter pollution limits to protect the health of people who play in rivers. Of course, equally important is adherence and enforcement of pollution limits and a commitment by polluters to clean up their pollution problems.

By pursuing these solutions, the “Keep Out” signs and yellow police tape can one day come down and the citizens of the South River watershed can come back to the river to safely barbeque, swim, picnic and play in the shoals again.



4.    Georgia Lake Society Recruiting Board Members
Georgia Lakes Society (www.georgialakes.org) seeks capable leaders to move the environmental conservation organization into the next decade.  If you are an environmentally minded professional who is into lakes, boating, conservation, fishing, or reservoir maintenance issues, they'd love to hear from you--especially individuals with an interest in marketing and finance.

To learn more about GLS and inquire about possible board service, please contact Mickey Desai at mdesai@mindspring.com
 
5.    Save the Date! Georgia River Network Annual Conference 2011
Georgia River Network has scheduled our Annual Conference for February 25-26 at the Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell, Georgia. Registration will begin in early December.  CLick HERE to sign up for more information about the conference.

6.    Paddle Georgia 2011
Paddle Georgia 2011 is scheduled for June 18-24 on the Oconee River from Athens to Dublin.

From Joe Cook's Blog on Scouting the Oconee: It is Sept. 19, and along with April Ingle, Ben Emanuel and others, I’ve now paddled some 30 miles of the Oconee River in preparation for Paddle Georgia 2011. Late afternoon sun lights the Oconee River near Scull Shoals. To clarify, this is the Oco-KNEE of middle Georgia, not the Oco-EEE of Southeastern Tennessee. The Oco-EEE is famed for Class IV rapids and even has an Olympic venue built upon it–the legacy of the 1996 games. The Oco-EEE hosts tens of thousands of thrillseekers each year on its challenging whitewater. A blossoming canoe/kayak rental business catering to Athens’ college populace notwithstanding, the Oco-KNEE seems a forgotten river. It is small, quiet and lightly used. Read more of this blog post at: http://garivernetwork.wordpress.com.


7.    Nominate River Network’s National River Hero
It’s that time of year: elections, left-over “snack-sized” candy and beautiful colors can mean only one thing. It’s time to start thinking who you want to nominate as a National River Hero.

You know the person. We all do. The one who – against all odds – manages to be brilliantly successful. The one who speaks endlessly and poetically on behalf of our rivers. The one who doesn’t complain (much). The one who inspires you so much that frankly, it can be kind of dumbfounding. How can one person do so much good for our rivers with such grace, competence and humility – and never ask for anything (much) in return?

This is your opportunity to nominate your River Hero. Nominations are submitted by peers and the heroes are selected and honored by peers. Even the award is made by peers. It’s a homegrown award to celebrate our homegrown heroes.

Nominations are due by Feb. 4, 2011. The nomination form and information can be found online at: www.rivernetwork.org/rally/heroes. Up to 5 individuals will be selected as our 2011 National River Heroes and honored at the 2011 National River Rally in N. Charleston, SC.

8.    Four Stages of Organizational Development: What does it mean for my board?
Have you recently moved from all-volunteer to a newly staffed organization? Or are you just beginning to fully involve and engage your board? Environmental and conservation nonprofits often mature in a predictable path of four phases: Volunteer Based, "The Leap" (Hiring Staff), Shared Governance, and Institutional.  Join ICL for this hour long audio conference on November 18, 201011/18/2010, 1pm Eastern time. Register HERE by November 16th. 

9.     The ESRI Nonprofit Organization Program
The ESRI Nonprofit Organization Program is designed to provide conservation and humanitarian nonprofit organizations around the world an affordable means of acquiring ArcGIS software and services for organized volunteer efforts. Other types of nonprofit organizations may also be eligible for membership in the program.  For more information, visit www.esri.com/nonprofit

10.    Building Community Capacity through Grant Collaborations
As a part of the Georgia Center for Nonprofit’s Nonprofit University, Thursday, November 18, 2010 between 9:30am – 12:30am, a panel will discuss how today's funders are looking for nonprofits that are willing to collaborate in order to impact their community capacity in ways that they can't do on their own. If your organization is interested in grant collaborations, don't miss this invigorating panel discussion with three nonprofit leaders who've done it well. Click HERE to register.

11.    Daring to Lead
Daring to Lead is the every-five-years national study of nonprofit executive directors; it's the study that first discovered, for instance, that 65% of EDs are on their first jobs as an ED. If you are a nonprofit CEO or executive director, please lend your perspective to the third Daring to Lead study. Earlier Daring to Lead studies have been among the highest-impact research in the nonprofit sector, resulting in major foundation initiatives supporting executive directors, succession planning, and emerging leaders. If you are CEO/executive director, make sure the researchers at CompassPoint and the Meyer Foundation get it right. Click HERE to take the survey by November 19th.

12.    Savannah Riverkeeper Roast on the River
Join Savannah RIverkeeper for their 2nd Annual Roast on the River.

When: December 3, 2010: 6:30 pm - until
Where: Hogan's Marina - 36 Wilmington Island Village Rd, Wilmington Island
How much: $35/person, $160/6 people, $275/10 people
Current members receive $10 off

For more information, visit the Savannah Riverkeeper website at www.savannahriverkeeper.org

13.    Better Writing for Your Organization
Recently at Georgia River Network, we worked with a consultant who works specifically with businesses and organizations to help them become more relatable to the public when it comes to talking about the issues that affect us all.  Rebecca Leigh is the name of the consultant, and she has a great blog called Smart Fresh Writing, in which she talks about how best to talk with your clients and constituents about the great work you’re doing! Check out her blog at http://smartfreshwriting.com

14.    How much time and energy should we be investing in our website?
Click HERE to find out.

15.    Get people reading that newsletter!
It's not going to write itself!

16.    Reduce Audit Costs!
They're expensive, it's true.  But there may be other ways to ease the costs of the burden....

17.    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 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.
•    American Rivers-NOAA Dam Removal Project Funding: For the first time in the Southeast, American Rivers and NOAA are soliciting proposals for dam removal projects.(www.americanrivers.org/noaagrants).  This will fund Proposals for Construction phase funding may request a maximum award of $100,000 and Proposals for Engineering Design or Feasibility Analysis phases may request a maximum award of $75,000. Deadline for receiving proposals is December 8, 2010.
•    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.
•    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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