I want to share with you a quote that I also shared with over 100 people last month at our annual meeting at Love’s Seafood Restaurant in Savannah overlooking The Ogeechee River:
“Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away.”
I found this quote as I searched for the words to express how I feel about the past 12 months at Ogeechee Riverkeeper. Rivers and water lend themselves quite nicely for many of life’s metaphors: in this instance it’s the passing of time, in others it’s water’s strength and persistence to cut through or shape rock and earth into a canyon or cave. Whatever the case may be, we know that we can turn to the river for healing, solace and peace.
I was able to look back on a wonderful year for Ogeechee Riverkeeper with many accomplishments. We’re proud of all we’ve accomplished and are grateful to the many helpful people and surrounding supportive communities who helped us get here. Some of our most dedicated supporters and volunteers were especially recognized that evening:
Our host, Love’s Seafood was recognized as an Ogeechee Riverkeeper corporate ‘River’ partner in our new corporate partnership program – they have been wonderful supporters over the last decade. Charlie Milmine was awarded Volunteer of the Year, Matthew Harris – Monitor of the Year, and Dr. J. Checo Colón-Gaud of Georgia Southern University’s Biology Department received the Educational Partnership of the Year award. The Business of the Year honor went to The Mechanical Shop in Bloomingdale, who purchased a new patrol boat for the organization. The new vessel was parked in front of Love’s Seafood during the event, giving attendees opportunities to admire it and take photos. Words cannot express how extremely thankful we are to The Mechanical Shop for believing in the organization enough to donate this much needed resource. Thank you too to Bulloch Marine for helping us choose the best boat for our needs and offering a discounted price for it; and Action Signs for the great graphics work. This donation which will enhance our work ten thousand fold. We now have the capability to patrol our waterways more frequently and in more areas.
2015-16 was another stellar year for water quality monitoring. Jesse, ORK’s fine Outreach Coordinator, held over 20 Adopt a Stream training events including working with Georgia Southern, and schools in Swainsboro, Statesboro, Portal and Savannah. He’s so good he even got Trainer of the Year from the State of Georgia’s AAS program!! Way to go, Jesse! You have elevated this organization and continue to make a positive difference in our communities and environment. Speaking of Jesse, you might have seen rumblings of a campaign to buy more kayaks and a new canoe trailer. This campaign entitled Power the Paddle is an excellent fundraiser aimed at putting people on the waterways we all dearly love. But we can’t do that with just one rental kayak and 4 canoes on a rickety trailer! Hence the campaign. Our goal is to raise $6,500 by the end of October specifically to buy these boats. So we have come a long way but there is still a lot of work to be done, and we’re busy setting goals for the future and working hard to get results.
Until next time.
Emily Markesteyn – Riverkeeper and Executive Director