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GWC Meetings

GWC Partner Meetings

Please save the dates for our final 2016 Partner Meetings at the Georgia Wildlife Federation's Alcovy Center: November 17

May 26 Partner Meeting ReCap

The Georgia Water Coalition recently held its spring partner meeting in Covington at the Georgia Wildlife Federation's Alcovy Conservation Center. 70 people attended representing 45 of our GWC partner organizations. People from around the state gathered to learn more about current water issues in Georgia and network with fellow conservationists.  After lunch the attendees broke into 5 groups to have 11 quick-fire discussions around strategic questions related to the GWC's new strategic plan. The next GWC partner meeting will be in Covington on July 27th and will focus on revising the GWC Biennial Report: Recommendations for a Healthy Water Future.

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GWC 2016 Capitol Conservation Day

The GWC’s Capitol Conservation Day was the biggest yet!  More than 170 members from more than 230 partner organizations attended a breakfast and legislative briefing on February 17, 2016. While in Atlanta, they met with state legislators to discuss HB 966 and SB 326.

GWC honors Water Champions for Environmental Leadership

The Georgia Water Coalition granted Clean Water Champion Awards to 83 legislators who took action to protect Georgia’s rivers, lakes and coastal marshes during the General Assembly’s 2015 Legislative Session.

Two ceremonies took place in metro Atlanta and on the coast. On Tuesday, May 12, the GWC hosted a BBQ awards luncheon in conjunction with GWC’s biannual meeting with representatives from many of our 220 partners at the Alcovy Conservation Center. The second ceremony took place on Wednesday June 24 at the Effingham County High School in conjunction with Georgia River Network’s Paddle Georgia, which hosted over 400 Georgians on a weeklong paddle down the Ogeechee River.

The 2015 legislative session saw intense debate over water, transportation, energy and other quality of life issues. Many members of the General Assembly crafted solutions to Georgia’s environmental problems, defended property rights and advocated for plentiful supplies of clean water.

“The Georgia Water Coalition appreciates the hard work of our clean water champions in the General Assembly,” said Colleen Kiernan, Sierra Club Georgia Chapter. “Our water will be cleaner because of the decisions some legislators made.”

The GWC recognized 56 Representatives and 27 Senators (see attached list) who specifically advocated for GWC priorities and voted in support of the GWC’s position on one or more bills, including: House Bills 255 and 397, and Senate Bills 101 and 139.

HB 255: LEEDing Nowhere Advances
House Bill 255 will prevent state agencies from constructing LEED-certified buildings (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) . This legislation is the result of a long standing disagreement between the U.S. Green Building Council and the Forestry Industry over how LEED awards credits for timber products.

HB 397: Dirty Water Roll Back
House Bill 397 will restructure the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission (GSWCC). The bill’s advocates have claimed the Commission’s actions have threatened economic development. HB 397 was a text-book case of a roll back—a process where a standing law or regulation is weakened or will result in fewer environmental protections—and was opposed by the GWC.

SB 101: Coastal Buffer Protected
On April 22, 2014, Georgia Environmental Protection Division staff reversed a decade-long policy of requiring a 25-foot buffer to protect our coastal salt marsh.  This “Earth Day” decision left nearly 400,000 acres of Georgia’s most precious coastal resource unprotected from the ill-effects of sedimentation. Senate Bill 101 , a bill introduced by Senator Ben Watson (R-Savannah), will now establish a 25-foot buffer in the Erosion and Sedimentation Control Act to protect coastal marshlands from sediment pollution.

SB 139: Grounding “Plastic Bags Everywhere”
SB 139 would have prevented local communities from adopting ordinances restricting single-use plastic bags and other one-time use plastics at restaurants, grocery stores, public schools and other locations. The GWC opposed this bill because plastic bags and waste end up in our state waters from the mountains to the coast. Nothing we use for a few minutes should pollute our environment for hundreds of years.

Event Photos

GWC 2015 Legislative Awards Ceremonies
May 12 - Alcovy Conservation Center, Georgia Wildlife Federation
June 24 - Effingham County High School

Capitol Conservation Day 2015 Photos
Photos by: Erik Voss

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