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Local group recognized at annual Coosa River Basin meeting
Coosa River Basin
Coosa River Basin Initiative Executive Director and Riverkeeper Jesse Demonbreun-Chapman presents the Margie T. Harbin Advocacy Award to Brenda and Jim Henderson of Forsyth County, accepting the award on behalf of the local group Stop Trashing Forsyth County and the Etowah River. - photo by For the FCN

A nonprofit group that aims to preserve and restore the Coosa River Basin recently recognized a handful of supporters and volunteers at the Rome-based organization’s annual membership meeting.

Among those recognized was the citizen group Stop Trashing Forsyth County and the Etowah River. Members of the local group received the Margie T. Harbin Environmental Advocacy Award. 

According to a news release from the Coosa River Basin Initiative, members of Stop Trashing Forsyth County and the Etowah River were “instrumental in winning concessions from the Forsyth County Commission to improve and limit operations of a private solid waste landfill located along the Etowah River.”

Others honored at the Jan. 30 meeting included Ruth Demeter of Rome, who was given the Ray Kelley Volunteer of the Year. According to the news release, Demeter “consulted with CRBI during a lengthy strategic planning process and also volunteered during CRBI’s Environmental quiz bowl competition and aided in the organization’s move to 5 Broad Street in downtown Rome after more than 17 years at 408 Broad Street.”

The organization named Sweetwater Brewing Company of Atlanta as the Cedar Creek Park and Outdoor Center Corporate Citizen Award winner for 2017. 

The Atlanta brewer sponsors multiple Save the Coosa events at local restaurants and bars each summer that generate thousands of dollars in support for CRBI programs. 

Justyn Patterson, an environmental science student at Berry College, was recognized as the Water Monitor of the Year. Patterson, a Bonner Scholar, volunteers 10 hours weekly and conducts chemical water monitoring at 20 sites in Georgia and Alabama. He has also assisted CRBI in building more collaborations between CRBI and Berry College students and faculty. 

Coosa River Basin Initiative is a nonprofit organization and member of the international Waterkeeper Alliance.

According to its website, the group’s mission is “to inform and empower citizens to protect, preserve and restore North America’s most biologically unique river basin.”