Georgia’s clean-water heroes announced
The Georgia Water Coalition has chosen its Clean 13 water heroes for 2021. The list recognizes individuals, businesses, industries, non-profits and government agencies that have made extraordinary efforts to make the state’s rivers cleaner and the future more sustainable for Georgians.
Those recognized in the 2021 Clean 13 report are:
- Athens-Clarke County, for its commitment to powering the entire community with renewable energy sources by 2050.
- Blue Bird Corp., the nation’s leading manufacturer of electric school buses, for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- City of Savannah, for replacing plastic to-go cups with recyclable, Georgia-made aluminum cups.
- City of South Fulton, the first Georgia municipality to prohibit private businesses from using plastic bags. (In addition, the South Fulton community improvement districts are focused on more efficient and cleaner transportation options like personal rapid transit. Learn more in this month’s feature, “Recovering, Revamping and Ramping Up.”)
- Georgia Audubon and Southern Conservation Trust partnership at Sams Lake Bird Sanctuary to eliminate invasive plants and restore those native to the area, which produce more insects that benefit the 138 local and visiting bird species.
- Madison County Clean Power Coalition, which helped secure state legislation banning the use of creosote-soaked wood at power generation facilities.
- Mitchell County 4-H for its annual 4-H2O camp that teaches youth about the state’s water resources.
- Hanwha Q CELLS North America, the Western Hemisphere’s largest solar panel manufacturer in Dalton.
- Dionne Hoskins-Brown of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for partnering with Savannah State University to diversify NOAA’s workforce. During the past two decades, Hoskins-Brown has helped the historically Black university become one of the nation’s top producers of marine science graduates. Many of these graduates are working for NOAA now, studying the impact of climate change on fisheries and coastal communities.
- Patagonia Atlanta, for investing $1.3 million in local environmental organizations.
- Former state Rep. Andy Welch (R-Locust Grove) and current state Sen. Chuck Hufstetler (R-Rome) for securing legislation that restores funding for the state’s environmental trust funds.
- White Oak Pastures where regenerative land management practices are sequestering carbon, protecting local creeks and improving the land.
- Jim Wright, Lee County code enforcement officer for his work to clean the Kinchafoonee and Muckalee creeks and make them accessible for boating and fishing.
The Georgia Water Coalition is comprised of more than 285 conservation and environmental organizations, hunting and fishing groups, faith-based organizations and businesses that have been working to protect the state’s water since 2002.