Katherine Edmonds - American Rivers’ Southeast Forest and Water Coordinator
Economic Benefits of Water Trails’
Learn about the economic benefits and local gains that can come from promoting river recreation in communities and how water trails can be effective in bringing tourism, getting communities on their local waterways, and promoting conservation.
Bob Thomson - Porterdale City Manager
Planning a Water Trail: Vision & concept development, fund acquisition & execution’
How comprehensive planning through the charette visioning process set the stage for Porterdale’s Community Agenda.
Community Support
Matthew Pate - Forsyth County Parks& Recreation Outdoor Programs Manager
Partners Mean Progress: Etowah River Canoe Trail’
Learn how partnerships with the local community, county, & city Government can result in long term sustainability of your water trail.
Dan MacIntyre - Page Perry LLC, Georgia Canoeing Association
Understanding Private Property Issues and Working with your Community to Avoid Conflict
A brief look at the river access and passage issues of which we must be aware and how to develop a paddling trail that honors them.
Recreation Opportunities
Anne Nguyen – UGA undergraduate student of Landscape Architecture
Fundamentals of Launch Design: What you need in your toolbox’  
How to make sure your design is safe, environmentally sound, has accurate inventory, and uses professional resources.
Dave Teffeteller - Coosawattee Watershed Alliance
Planning, Designing, Constructing and Operating Blue Trail Launch Sites’
An overview of site selection, permitting, design and cost estimating, construction, capitalization and maintenance.
Mike Crook - Middle Chattahoochee River Stewards
The Chattahoochee Valley Blueway; how we are adapting an existing reality to fit a concept’
Recreational usage along the Chattahoochee Valley Blueway increases exponentially each year. Learn how new and existing access points have been adapted and improved and how developing safe/formal passage around two dam structures will open the water trail to a variety of recreation experiences from snorkeling underwater archaeological sites to bird watching.
William "Hap" Tietjen –Georgia Adopt A Stream
Water Quality & Quantity; Ecosystem Health= Community Health’
Learn how to get GA Adopt A Stream involved in your community and on your water trail and about the many educational benefits that come with it.
Conservation/ Restoration
Bonny Putney - Rivers Alive -Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s Headwaters Outreach Manager
Get your Community Involved! Lessons Learned on the River’
Find out the benefits of community involvement by using Rivers Alive waterway cleanups, working with partners and celebrating what is special about your water trail. Case studies will be highlighted and you will receive hands on information you can put to use immediately in your community.
Robby Bowen – Vice President Meanders River Restoration, Inc.
How River Restoration Can Play a Vital Role in a Healthy Water Trail’
Learn about various forms of river restoration, how river restoration can improve a water trail, when restoration is necessary, and the associatedter Trail iblic,e included costs.
Public Information
Harold Harbert - EPD Watershed Protection Branch’s Outreach Manager
Who wants an Interactive Map for their Water Trail?’
Learn about EPD and GRN’s collaborative Interactive Water Trail Map Project, the useful information that will be accessible to the public online, and how you can ensure your water trail map is added to our database.
Gwyneth Moody - Georgia River Network’s Community Programs Coordinator
The Wonders of the Georgia River Network Water Trails Clearinghouse’
Take a brief tour through GRN’s Water Trails Website, the official clearinghouse for finding info about all of the established and developing water trails in the State, as well as a useful toolkit for those water trails still in the conceptual phase.


Cool River Events!


Paddling Trips


River Clean ups




Paddle - Earth Day Paddle on the Etowah Part I (CRBI)
When: Saturday, Apr 21, 2012
Where: 10 mile jaunt from Euharlee to US 411
Description: Arguably the most scenic stretch of the Etowah in Bartow County -  Native American fish weirs,  Bald eagles and otters. It's FREE! Register at www.coosa.org/events/paddle-trips 

Cedar Creek in Floyd County
When: Saturday, Apr 28, 2012
Where: 5-mile paddle from Lyons Bridge Road to US 411
Description: Explore Cedar Creek near Cave Spring with Cedar Creek Park support. This paddle will introduce you to this intimate little creek and the cold water springs in this area. It's FREE! Register at www.coosa.org/events/paddle-trips   

Chattahoochee Riverkeeper
When: May 19 – 20, 2012
Where: Sautee Creek to Belton Bridge
Description: https://chattahoochee.org/paddle-trips.php

Georgia Great Outdoors Festival
When: Apr 28 – 29, 2012
Where: Lions Club Fairgrounds, Ellijay, GA 30540
Description: Georgia Great Outdoors Festival Cost: $5 per person/ 10 and under Free              

Waterfest XII (CRBI) - Two day "Race"
When:  May 4, 2012
Description: Two-day paddle sports and environmental education extravaganza featuring a 13-mile "race" on the Oostanaula River + Canoe & Kayak tug-o-war.To Regsiter, go to www.coosa.org/events/paddle-trips  

 16th Annual River Revival
When: May 4, 6:30pm – 11:00pm
Where: Park Tavern at Piedmont Park
Description: Featuring: Ben Sollee, Julia Haltigan, Ruby Velle and the Soulphonics, Burnt Bacon $45 in advance / $65 VIP access Go to www.chattahoochee.org to purchase tickets.  

New Echota Rivers Alliance - Biodiversity Dash
When: Saturday, May 12, 2012
Where: Upper Conasauga
Description: Biodiversity Dash For registration: www.neranow.org    

New Echota Rivers Alliance Paddle - Peacock Alley
When:  Saturday, Jun 9, 2012
Where: Lower Conasauga

Back to the Chattahoochee River Race and Festival- Chattahoochee Riverkeeper
When:  Jun 9, 2012
Where: Chattahoochee River
Description: https://chattahoochee.org/paddle-trips.phpRiverkeeper

Proctor Creek Stewardship Council Stream Clean up
When: Apr 19, 2012
Organizer:  Tony Torrence
Organizing Group: G-1430 Community Improvement Association, Inc
Phone:  678-663-1858
Ages:  8 years and up
Partners: West Atlanta Watershed Alliance, Eco -Action, Friends of English Avenue, English  Earth Day

South River Clean up
When: Apr 21, 2012
Organizer:  Michael O'Shield
Organizing Group: G-368 DeKalb County Adopt-A-Stream
Phone:  770.724.1456
Ages:  10 years and up
Partners: DeKalb County Natural Resources Managment Office
Apalachee River Clean up
When: Apr 21, 2012 
Organizer:  Michelle Creech
Organizing Group: G-1649 G-1312 Keep Oconee County Beautiful Commission
Ages:  All ages
Partners: Keep Oconee County Beautiful Commission  

RiverAlive Mulberry River Clean Up      

When: April 28th
Where:  2 sections of the Mulberry River, Braselton, GA                                    Contact: Yvette Wise This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Paddle Cleanup- Chattahoochee Riverkeeper
When: Saturday, Jun 9, 2012
Where: Garrard Landing Park and Riverside Park, Rosewell
Description: https://chattahoochee.org/river-race-festival.php  

Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society (FMCS) biennial workshop
When: April 19- April 20
Where:  Holiday Inn - Athens, GA
Description: https://molluskconservation.org/Events.html                                                              

 2012 River Management Society Symposium
When: Apr 24–26, 2012
Where: Asheville, NC
Description: https://www.river-management.org/symposium-2012/Home.htm  

Community-led Restoration of South River & Pursuit of Environmental Justice Workshop 

When: June 9, 2012

Where: Georgia Piedmont Technical College, Clarkston, GA

Description:  The purpose of this FREE community workshop is to generate dialogue about current and historical disregard of urban waterways and South River specifically, the lack of river restoration efforts in communities of color, and offer strategies on how to engage affected communities. 

Contact: South River Watershed Alliance at 404-285-3756 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Paddle & Camp - Altamaha River

When:  April 20 – April 22, 2012

Where: Hazelhurst, GA
Description: "Family Friendly" paddle and camping trip in Hazelhurst, GA.

 Contact: Marie Short This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.    

Taste the Flint River Paddle Series (#2)

When:  Apr 21, 2012

Where: Muckalee Creek / Barbeque - Jones Cypress Cove
Contact: www.flintriverkeeper.org  

๏  Taste the Flint Paddle Series (#3)

When: May 19, 2012

Where: middle Flint, near Montezuma
Contact: www.flintriverkeeper.org   

Taste the Flint Paddle Series (#4)

When: Saturday, Jun 2, 2012

Where: shoal lily paddle tour, near Thomaston

Contact: www.flintriverkeeper.org

 Altamaha Riverkeeper's Annual Meeting Celebration

When: Saturday, Apr 28, 2012

Where: Ocmulgee River - Way's Landing in Hawkinsville
Description: Lunch at Noon followed by Blue Grass by Walden Ridge and boating RSVP by Friday, April 20 (p) 912-437-8164 (e) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


SE NALMS Lake and Watershed Mgt Conference

When: May 13 – 15, 2012

Where: Columbus, GA (map)
Description: Hosted by the Georgia Lakes Society www.georgialakes.org


Paddle- Altamaha River
When: Apr 20 – 22, 2012
Where: Buffalo Swamp
Description: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. https://southeastadventure.com/tours/multi-day-trips/altamaha-river/       

Capt Gabby's Mega Adventures
When: Apr 28 – 30, 2012
Where: Golden Isles
Description: Multi-day Mothership charters on the Captain Gabby a converted shrimpboat https://southeastadventure.com/tours/multi-day-trips/multi-day-mothership-charters/    
 ๏Satilla River Overnight
When: Apr 28 – 29 & Jun 2 – 3, 2012
Where: Satilla River
Description: Overnight. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. https://southeastadventure.com/tours/multi-day-trips/satilla-river/             

Women's Kayaking and Yoga Retreat
When: May 4 – 6, 2012
Where: Satilla Lodge
Description: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. https://southeastadventure.com/tours/multi-day-trips/womens-kayaking-and-yoga-retreats/    

Cumberland Island - 3 day trip
When: May 18 – 20, 2012
Where: Cumberland Island
Description: Extraordinary paddling - historic hiking - awesome campsite! contact us to reserve, 912-638-6732 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Sapelo and Blackbeard Islands
When: May 25 – 27 & Jun 8 – 10, 2012
Where: Sapelo & Blackbeard Island
Description: 3 day trip we stay indoors and explore this amazing area by foot, kayak, and vehicle This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. https://southeastadventure.com/tours/multi-day-trips/sapelo-and-blackbeard-islands/         


River City Challenge -Jacksonville's first paddle race - St. John's River
When: Saturday, May 5, 2012




Question: I'm on the board of a river group and we've decided we want to start a blog to stay in touch with our members.  Do you have any advice about what to write about, how often to post and how to get more readers?

Answer: Starting a blog for your nonprofit is a great idea! Not only does it educate members and provide a way for them to stay updated on what your organization is doing, it can be a great advocacy tool and it can drive traffic to your website if people start expecting to see something new each time they go there.

The benefits of having a blog are many:

  • It provides a good way of providing up-to-the minute news to people who want it. Facebook and Twitter are also good for this, but blogs allow you more room to editorialize. I recommend using social networking sites and your blog in conjunction: always post your new blog entry on Facebook and Twitter as soon as you publish it.

  • It establishes your organization as an expert and a thought leader in your field. If you’re posting often, people will eventually hear about an issue and go to your blog to see what your organization thinks about it.

  • It creates content for other people: news sources, other nonprofits, individuals, etc. will share your information.

  • It builds a relationship—trust and rapport-- with your supporters and gives them an idea of who your organization is and what it stands for.

  • A good blog facilitates conversations and builds community.

But having a blog is kind of like having a house plant or a pet: you kind of have to take care of it once you have it. It’s great if you can update at least once a week, but the more often you update, the more impact it’s going to have.  Of course, it’s also really nice to have a consistency in the tone in the blog, and that can be achieved by having just one person or an established rotating group of people writing for it.

Another word about content: everybody needs an editor, and I recommend having someone in your organization read each post over to make sure it sounds good, but also to fact check. There’s nothing worse than getting wrong information out there, even if the error was an honest mistake.

As far as getting the word out about your blog, I suggest you herd people toward it every chance you get. When you first get it started, I suggest having a period of about 2 weeks where you post but don’t advertise, just to get all the kinks worked out.  When you decide it’s ready to launch, email your membership, supporters and colleagues with the news, post to Facebook and Twitter every chance you get, ask people to get the word out.  It might be a slow start, but don’t get frustrated: the quality of your blog will drive people there—it just takes a little patience.

And one last thing: make sure to put Google Analytics on your blog so you can track how many people are reading it, where they live, how they’re getting to it, etc.  That information will prove useful one of these days, and the service is free! 

Happy Blogging!

The Riverkeeper Model

Question: A group of people in my community want to start a river protection group to protect our local river.  We’ve asked around, and it seems like becoming a Riverkeeper is a good idea. Any advice you can give on the ins and outs on adopting the Riverkeeper model?

Answer: The Riverkeeper model is a great one! It carries with it a lot of name recognition and Riverkeepers have the reputation of getting stuff done! Plus, Waterkeeper Alliance member organizations are some of the most successful water protection organizations in the world.

The Waterkeeper Alliance was founded in 1999 by Robert Kennedy and a group of fishermen who set out to clean up Hudson River in New York.  The Riverkeeper movement took off, and now there are over 190 Waterkeeper organizations worldwide (that include not only Riverkeepers, but also Coastkeepers, BayKeepers, Soundkeepers, etc.).  Riverkeepers generally work at the grassroots level on issues involving local water quality issues that impact the health and well-being of a specific watershed and the communities it supports.  Riverkeepers are also committed to enforcing the law, such as the U.S. Clean Water Act

In order to start a Riverkeeper organization, your group must apply to be a member of the Waterkeeper Alliance.  There is a very thorough application process which is set up to help young organizations build a strong foundation for long-term sustainability and success.  Because the Waterkeeper Alliance wants to make sure each of its affiliate groups makes a serious difference in their watershed, the Alliance also has certain requirements., or "Quality Standards," that each group must uphold.  For instance, every Riverkeeper organization must employ a full-time paid staff person, maintain a vessel, be a sponsored 501(c)(3) organization, etc.  For a list of the Waterkeeper "Quality Standards", download the proposal template off the Waterkeeper website

And before you do anything, make sure there's not already a Riverkeeper organization protection your watershed.  If there is, it's important that you work with that organization as you proceed.  If you decide Riverkeeping is the route for your group, great! Georgia River Network would love to help you out along the way, so don't hesitate to ask us for help! 

Good luck!